Paying tribute to an artist who is no longer around happens often in the creative improvised music world. Albert Ayler is one of the most, if not, the most, revered improvisers in the history of the music. Perhaps, because he vanished before he fully realized his destiny. Or so it is thought. Or perhaps, he left this world because it was really the time and he had done everything he, alone, could do and it was time for others to develop his language and legacy.
13 Miniatures for Albert Ayler demonstrates how his influence took hold. Thirteen vignettes with distinctive cadence: cadence that would be dismissed without the Ayler context. This is especially notable: in the introductory text, “Albert Ayler à la Fondation Maeght,” read by composer Daniel Caux’s wife, Jacqueline Caux, lyrically, in French, painting an atmosphere for the upcoming testaments to the assimilation of the saxophone player’s music; and in the poetry reading by Steve Dalachinsky, who is well-known for his remarkable practice of translating improvisational music experience into both visual and verbal sonority. For this performance Dalachinsky created a “collage” of interviews with Albert and his brother, Donald Ayler, entitled “As in My Name IS.............”
Predominant in the recording is reed and brass player, Joe McPhee, who, without having heard Ayler’s sound, would never have picked up a saxophone. McPhee plays in four of these pieces. The last entry of the record is a McPhee tenor solo, fraught with melancholic melody, wherein the notes hang in the air; are slurred and interspersed with vocal grunts through the reed; evolve into extraordinary squealing/screaming pitches to descend into elegant conclusive mid-range tones.
The liner notes contain not only transcriptions of Caux’s tribute, Dalachinsky’s poetry, but also a two part poem by Parisian native and poet, Zéno Bianu.
The instrumentalists on the record are numerous and in combination express a wide-ranging grasp of Ayler’s musical intensity, never imitating it, only re-investing it with personal structure and signature. This is the only way Ayler can be remembered: by the spawning and growth of contemporary creative improvisation.
copyright 2012 Lyn Horton
Jacqueline Caux; Raphaël Imbert, Urs Leimgruber, Joe McPhee, Evan Parker, John Tchicaї; Jean-Luc Cappozzo, Raphaël Imbert, Christian Rollet; Steve Salachinsky, Joëlle Léandre, Barre Phillips; Ramon Lopez; Ramon Lopez, Barre Phillips, Michel Portal; Jean-Jacques Avenal, Simon Goubert, Joe McPhee; Jean-Luc Capozzo, Joe McPhee; Evan Parker; Joëlle Léandre, Urs Leimgruber, John Tchicaї; Simon Goubert, Raphaël Imbert, Sylvain Kassap, Didier Levallet; Joëlle Léandre, Urs Leimgruber, Lucia Recio; Joe McPhee.
Jean-Jacques Avenal: bass; Jacqueline Caux: spoken words; Jean-Luc Capozzo: trumpet, flugelhorn; Steve Dalachinsky: spoken words; Simon Goubert: drums; Raphaël Imbert: saxophones; Sylain Kassap: clarinets; Joëlle Léandre: bass; Urs Leimgruber: soprano sax; Didier Levallet: bass; Ramon Lopez: drums; Joe McPhee: tenor saxophone, flugelhorn; Evan Parker: saxophones; Barre Phillips: bass; Michel Portal: bass clarinet; Lucia Recio: vocals; Christian Rollet: drums; John Tchicaї: alto saxophone.