Exposé Online banner

Healing Force — Music of Albert Ayler
(Cuneiform Rune 255, 2007, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-10-01

Music of Albert Ayler Cover art

Guitarist Henry Kaiser is heavily steeped in the allure of classic jazz. As proven by his Yo Miles! joint projects with Wadada Leo Smith, Kaiser has been on a mission to find the essence of the jazz sound, allow sympathetic players to interpret it, and then mold new pieces in the same sauce. Across nine tracks Kaiser, sax man Vinny Golia and Zappa alumnus Mike Keneally lead a crackshot ensemble through the gnarly abrasive paces that distinguish Ayler’s music from any other’s. Golia comes out gangbusting on his co-written piece “New New Grass,” demonstrating an immediate empathy for the catalog backed by Joe Morris’s wafting bass lines. The showcase piece is clearly the twenty minute “Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe,” with Keneally posing a piano phrase and Golia's serpentine swirl of energy before vocalist Aurora Josephson weighs in, emoting passionate phrasing before Kaiser wigs out. The follow-up piece, “Japan / Universal Indian” comes off the best on the disc as the backing musicians root the piece in calm as Golia breathtakingly tears it up. “Oh Love of Life” captures many of the same elements put across by the Tony Williams Lifetime blurring jazz and rock boundaries with Kaiser’s best shard jabbing guitar leads. In summary, as free jazz icons are shown proper tribute, the listener can only do his best to lend a sympathetic ear to a bygone era.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Healing Force, Mike Keneally, Henry Kaiser

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ozric Tentacles - Vitamin Enhanced – This six-CD set contains the early works of the band from the years 1984-89, heretofore only available on six cassettes that together cost more than this boxed set. For those not yet familiar with the...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues