Healing Force — Music of Albert Ayler
(Cuneiform Rune 255, 2007, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-10-01
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.
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more