The Wire - 3/00, p.56
"...Typically, the songs lift off from a dusty repertoire derived from old timey folkforms, Baptist spirituals and New Orleans funeral dirges, but they are soon blasted into hitherto unknown dimensions by the mystery black notes emanating from the Ayler brothers' collective improvisations..."
JazzTimes - p.90
"The music's lost none of its power. It's still astonishing: the complexity that springs from the marchlike, nursery-rhyme motifs; the lyrical grace...[and] the link that existed, unobstructed, between inspiration and expression."
Personnel: Albert Ayler (tenor saxophone); Donald Ayler (trumpet); Michel Sampson (violin); Lewis Worrell (bass); Ron Jackson (drums).
Recorded at Slug's Saloon, New York, New York on May 1, 1966.
Personnel: Albert Ayler (tenor saxophone); Michel Sampson (violin); Donald Ayler (trumpet); Lewis Worrell (double bass); Ron Jackson (percussion).
Fruit Tree comes up with the second complete reissue in two years of Albert Ayler's seminal Slug's Saloon performance from May 1, 1966 which was originally released by Italy's BASE label. Two separate volumes have been released many times over the years, but this set faithfully reassembles the Slug's Saloon concert that featured Ayler on tenor, brother Donald on trumpet, drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson, violinist Michel Sampson, and bassist Lewis Worrell. These recordings helped to establish Ayler's reputation as an original voice on the tenor in the vanguard of the music. There are five tracks here, and the long, freewheeling versions of favorites like "Truth Is Marching In," "Ghosts," and "Bells" are among the finest on tape, offering fine evidence of Ayler's union of folk music, gospel, R&B, and marches as they collided with his iconoclastic sense of harmony and melody. Sound quality is a bit dodgy at times, but it draws nothing from the performance. While Ayler fans no doubt possess this music in some form, the uninitiated would be indeed gratified as well as educated by investigating them. Energetically and dynamically, there is simply nothing like them. ~ Thom Jurek