13 July 1936, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, d. 25 November 1970, New York City, New York, USA. In common with many of the radical figures of the 60s avant garde, tenor and alto saxophonist Ayler paid his dues in R&B bands. He started his musical education on alto, and played in the church attended by his family. At the age of 10 he began studying at the local academy of music, continuing to do so for some seven years. During this time he was section leader in his high-school orchestra. In his late teens he secured a job with blues legend Little Walter. Subsequently, he formed his own R&B band, but this folded and, after giving up college due to financial difficulties, he joined the army. His national service took him to Europe, where he decided to stay following his discharge. His first few albums were taped either in Europe or for European labels, but his reputation was made with the recordings for the New York label ESP, which was established by Bernard Stollman...
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