Albert Ayler

Albert Ayler: The Village Concerts, Vol. 7

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On this two-LP set, the avant-garde innovator Albert Ayler is heard in top form. The tenor saxophonist, teamed with his brother trumpeter Donald Ayler, violinist Michel Sampson, two bassists, drummer Beaver Harris and sometimes cellist Joel Freedman, really stretches out on these often-melodic and occasionally violent improvisations. Ayler stretched free jazz to the breaking point, yet his use of simple melodies during this phase of his career in conjunction with Donald Ayler's primitive trumpet often recalled the sound of a very early New Orleans brass band. Sampson's violin does not really fit in and sounds a bit jarring but otherwise this is one of Ayler's strongest recordings.