Albert Ayler Quartet; GhostsSkokiaan
SKOK 001 CD
Skokiaan presents a reissue of Albert Ayler Quartet's Ghosts, originally released in 1965. Ghosts, by free jazz master Albert Ayler and his quartet, is a classic. Ghosts is some of the most intriguing and wicked music ever experienced. Ayler and his mates, Don Cherry on trumpet, Sonny Murray on drums and Gary Peacock on bass guitar, are definitely on par with the other free jazz gods like John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman.
From a pop music perspective, this may be only screeching and overblown saxes and some non-structured fiddling on drums and bass, so that it's far different than the average mainstream. But if the listener has a fondness for soundscapes, improvisations and music that creates more of an atmosphere rather than fluffy melodies, this is a great record. From time to time, Ayler and his band start with straight melody lines and soon let it all run free before partly returning to recognizable and memorable melodies. On the title track, Ayler plays some sweet and swinging sax harmonies while drums and bass still rumble and blast completely improvised lines in the back. The composition named "Vibrations" is another of these outbursts of insanity.
Ayler and Cherry duel each other for the most free and twisted player. Murray pounds the kettles and cymbals like a maniac and Peacock joins in on standing bass. Ghosts is an ongoing rumbling and definitely strange. Free jazz fanatics will surely love Ghosts. For fans of Coltrane and Coleman, this is a must have.