Magnet - p.118
"He provides the raw, highly emotive sounds for which he's best known, as well as some restrained and conventionally lyrical parts..."
The Wire - p.53
"[I]t makes for a historically potent listen....There are some beautiful moments of tonal flux..."
Personnel: Albert Ayler (vocals, musette, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Albert Ayler; Mary Maria, Mary Maria Parks (vocals, soprano saxophone); Steve Tintweiss (double bass); Allen Blairman (drums).
Recording information: Maeght Foundation, St. Paul De Vence (07/25/1970).
Photographer: Raymond Ross.
This Albert Ayler concert performance was previously unreleased when the revived ESP label put it out in 2005. Performed a few days before Ayler's final recordings, it features the avant-garde innovator romping with bassist Steve Tintweiss and drummer Allen Blairman in a quartet augmented by singer Mary Maria. Unfortunately, Maria's contributions lower the quality of the performances a bit for her singing on half the numbers and chanting on "Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe" is an acquired taste and slightly inhibits the other musicians, taking up valuable space. She also plays soprano on one number. Ayler himself is in excellent form throughout, best on the playful "Birth of Mirth" and his theme song, "Ghosts." Bassist Steve Tintweiss and drummer Allen Blairman work well with Ayler, making one regret that this group did not last longer and record a full set as a trio. ~ Scott Yanow