Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lorrach, Paris 1966

“Red-dee…settt….go,” shouts my daughter as she leaps off the headboard above our bed and face-plants on the bed.  Good parenting, eh?  Watching her do this repeatedly, I am in awe of her fearlessness.  She could easily keep doing this for an hour, or at least until she makes a less-than-soft landing and needs kisses.  Each time she climbs back up on the headboard I tell her to be careful, and she repeats “ca-fulll” several times.  I can only assume she is mocking me, because she is anything but careful. 

It has been a very busy and stressful month, and the next few months don’t look like they will be much better.  It is only March (in a few hours) and my summer schedule is already rapidly filling up with commitments as well, which is rather depressing.  

Even though it has been busy,  I have managed to listen to some music over the past few weeks and this next album has been a real highlight.  “Lorrach, Paris” beautifully captures “the dynamite sound” of 1966, a time when Albert and his companions were literally exploding with creativity and passion.

Albert Ayler, Lorrach,Paris 1966
Hat Hut, 1966 
Albert Ayler:  tenor saxophone
Donald Ayler :  trumpet
Michel Sampson:  violin
Bill Folwell:  bass
Beaver Harris:  drums

"Lorrach, Paris 1966" represents selections from two concerts in November 1966 (Lorrach, Germany and Paris, France).  The music is similar to "Slug's" and "Greenwich Village."  It is oscillating, screaming, melodious, and fearless.  I really like the percussion of Beaver Harris; in my opinion he successfully drives this music forward in a very different way than Sunny Murray.  There are even some nice drum solos on this album, something I don't recall on the other 1966-67 releases.  I can't really say much more about this; the music speaks for itself.  This is a must-have disc for Ayler fans, and as good a place as any for an introduction.  

As I listen to this, I can't help but wonder what it would have been like to witness these shows in person, and particularly how I would have reacted if I had no experience with this sort of music (and I imagine that at least some in the audience were completely unaware of what they were getting into).  I like to to think I would have been like my daughter, jumping off the headboard and hoping for a soft landing.  More likely I would have been like her father, shocked by the craziness.  "Ca-full."     

I guess this might be out of print, which if true is a real travesty.  Looks like a few very pricey used CDs are available through amazon.

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