Witches & Devils: Angels

Albert Ayler's brand of jazz, while bursting with torrents of energy and emotion, was not without its tender and spiritual side. Witches and Devils gets inside this Ayler composition and takes advantage of both its passion and quiet, underlying spirit. Vandermark and Williams begin with rising joy, delivering an intense, almost prayer-meeting feel that morphs in a blast furnace of energy. Midsong, the heat is dialed back to allow an extended cello and bass duet. The intertwined lines, while slowly allowing the quiet to take over, are no less effective in channeling the spirit of Ayler. Inspiring stuff!

November 19, 2007 · 0 comments


Hal Russell: Ayler Songs

For the Albert Ayler portion of this autobiographical album, Russell and Mars Williams evoke the spirit of the late, great Ayler by engaging in a festival of free blowing. With power, fury, extended technique, and humor (this is Hal Russell, after all), Russell and Williams unleash those tenors. Sadly, Russell passed on only five weeks after this recording was made. What a swan song. Never one to hold back, his narrative introduction to the piece began: “Then along came Ayler ... Holy Shit!!”

November 04, 2007 · 1 comment


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