Personnel: Albert Ayler (tenor saxophone); Charles Tyler (alto saxophone); Donald Ayler (trumpet); Call Cobbs (harpsichord); Gary Peacock, Henry Grimes (bass instrument); Sunny Murray (drums).
1965's SPIRITS REJOICE, a high-energy performance recorded live at New York's Judson Hall, perfectly captures Albert Ayler's signature sound of this era. Like the earlier BELLS, the album blurs the line between composition and improvisation. The various horn players imitate each other's phrases and veer off into a cacophonous celebration, only to eventually return to the melody.
Ayler used two bass players for this date, Gary Peacock and Henry Grimes, and the collaboration especially shines during "D.C." The performance also features Ayler's brother Donald (trumpet), Sunny Murray (drums), Charles Tyler (alto saxophone), and Call Cobs (harpsichord on "Angels," one of Ayler's ballads). While the fidelity of this recording is not the finest, the playing is remarkable. Songs such as "Holy Family" foreshadow the New Orleans/marching-band influence evident on ALBERT AYLER LIVE IN GREENWICH VILLAGE. If nothing else, SPIRITS REJOICE and Ayler's other records on the ESP label document his unique musical vision. We are fortunate to have them.