Albert Ayler

Live on the Riviera

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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.

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