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

2017-10-18
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 $amp; 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

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Vanderhoof - A Blur in Time – Those who have heard of Kurdt Vanderhoof will know him as a member of the band Metal Church. I’m no fan of that band (or metal in general), but I had heard his other-band-cum-solo-project Vanderhoof...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues