2 LPs on 1 CD: NUITS DE LA FONDATION MAEGHT VOL. 1/NUITS DE LA FONDATION MAEGHT VOL. 2.
The two albums that comprise this CD were originally issued in 1970 on Shandar Records (France).
This CD includes Albert Ayler's last recordings before he was found dead in the East River (New York City) in November, 1970.
Personnel: Albert Ayler (saxophone); Mary Maria (vocals); Call Cobbs (piano); Steve Tintweiss (bass), Allen Blairman (drums).
Recorded live at the Foundation Maeght, St. Paul de Vence, France, July 25 & 27, 1970.
Includes liner notes by David Keenan.
Personnel: Albert Ayler (vocals, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Albert Ayler; Steve Tintweiss (double bass, upright bass); Mary Maria Parks (vocals, soprano saxophone); Call Cobbs (piano); Allen Blairman (drums).
Liner Note Author: David Keenan.
Recording information: Fondation Maeght, St. Paul De Vence, France (07/25/1970-07/27/1970).
Translator: Matt Robin.
Albert Ayler (1936-1970) remains an enigma. From his mysterious death to his towering, virtually mythic sonic presence, Ayler continues to mystify and delight. Unlike most "free" players of his generation, Ayler did not emerge from the bebop tradition. During the late 1950s/early '60s, he jumped right into the newly flowering jazz avant-garde. Ayler's deep, wide sound on the horn was inspired by the direct simplicity of folk and gospel melodies and the "vocal" capabilities of the saxophone.
This disc reissues two albums from '70, originally released on the French Shandar label, and consists of perhaps the last music Ayler ever recorded. NUITS DE LA FONDATION MAEGHT captures him, paradoxically, at his most uncompromisingly intense and his most accessible. Whereas some '60s free playing was driven by anger, joy was at the heart of Ayler's music. The madly catchy "Holy Family" features inspired, euphoric, limber R&B-accented playing over a grooving rhythm that's half-gospel, half-mutant mariachi. "Spirits Rejoice" features a panorama of gospel and traditional folk tunes (including "Amazing Grace") woven into an ebullient solo. Fans of the man will need this, and it's also a good starting place for those needing an entry point to the Ayler experience.