Brandon Burke

New Ayler Box from Revenant

14 posts in this topic

I just got an email from Dean Blackwood about this. Looks like a 2004 release date. Either way, here's the current draft of the press release.....

***************************************************************************

“Coltrane was the father, Pharaoh the son,

and I was the Holy Ghost.”

—Albert Ayler

On October 5, 2004, Revenant releases the next great collection in its distinguished (and, with 2002’s Charley Patton box, Grammy-winning) line, Holy Ghost, a compendium of rare and unissued recordings by saxophone titan Albert Ayler.

In his short life and career, Ayler (1936-1970) sometimes seemed to generate as much myth as substance: he reported dazzling religious visions, sported a sartorial style even his peers considered “out there,” and played his horn with what some perceived as a complete disregard for its history. Taking full bloom in the ‘60s, Ayler was an extremist in music at a time when even the mainstream of Jazz was losing ground; his entire career path can be viewed as an attempt to find viable creative outlets for his work. Now recognized as one of the key architects of the New Thing’s second wave, Ayler was THE catalytic force in defining the sound of the tenor in Free Jazz.

Albert Ayler learned his instrument as a kid, toured with Little Walter's blues band at age 15, became known as "Little Bird" around his hometown of Cleveland due to phrasing like Charlie Parker, logged several years in the US Army band, and then resolutely set out to forget everything he ever learned about how to properly play the sax so that he could really PLAY the sax—unhinged, free from jazz convention and music strictures of pitch and form, drawing on old American spirituals, obscure European folk melodies, marches, and other big whopping chunks of collective musical memory in order to channel symphonies to God out his horn. Seeking nothing short of Truth through music, Ayler pursued the universal moment with an ecstatic fury that might not be seen again. A heavy influence on the later work of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler died under mysterious circumstances in 1970.

Holy Ghost is the first comprehensive attempt to build a monument in sound to Albert Ayler, extending the body of his published recordings. It encompasses those settings which found Ayler’s music at its most liberated: radio and television broadcast recordings and airchecks, studio selections from unreleased record projects, private “loft” recordings, and live concert footage from Ayler’s hometown of Cleveland, from his base of activities in New York, and from his many tours overseas in 1962, 1964, 1966, and 1970. With the sponsorship and assistance of Ayler’s family and estate, Holy Ghost features Ayler’s earliest and last known recordings, bookending music from every stage of his career. All tracks are previously unreleased, many are uncirculated, and some entirely undocumented until now.

Holy Ghost’s extensive folio materials are also breakthrough features: previously unpublished work from the premier Jazz photographers of the time, as well as candid stills, snapshots, and memorabilia from private collections. Texts in the collection include new essays by writers Val Wilmer and Amiri Baraka, all of the world’s leading researchers of Ayler’s life and career, and key input from many of his friends and sidemen. All swaddled in the finery Revenant is known for: housed in lavish “spirit box” format, Holy Ghost begs for showy display on a table top of your choice.

Edited by Brandon Burke

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Just what my table top needed :rolleyes:

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Excellent !!!

I cant wait - thanks for posting that Brandon (can you keep us up to date if you get any more news please) .

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It's going to be great!

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I CAN'T STAND THE WAIT!!! :party::party::party:

I just hope it's not as expensive as the Charley Patton box.

Edited by Matthew

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I was wondering about the status of this set. Thanks for your post, Brandon!

October 2004. MAN that's a long time away! Let's hope that it's at least released on schedule -- although, better that the set be assembled correctly than be on time.

Isn't this box to include Ayler's live set with Cecil Taylor?

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Can't see this on the Revenant website. Anybody know anything?

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Can't see this on the Revenant website. Anybody know anything?

I'm pretty certain that the above document is all that there is to know at this point, save perhaps, for the back page advertisement he took out in the program for the Brotzmann/Parker/Drake show in Austin a few months back. No text. Just an image and *coming soon* tag.

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Does anyone have the Patton box? Is it worth it?

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Does anyone have the Patton box? Is it worth it?

Yes, and yes!

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Does anyone have the Patton box? Is it worth it?

I don't have it. Too rich for my blood. It's amazing, though. Encyclopedic. If you don't have any Patton whatsoever then I'd make sure you actually like him before you spend the money. For that, I'd recommend one of the two Yazoo comps. There's also a comp of Patton's contemporaries and followers -- isn't that just about everyone?! -- so don't get them confused because Charley is on the cover of that one too. Liner notes and packaging on the Revenant set are fantastic, as perhaps you already guessed. There is also a(nother) disc of others playing Patton's tunes in this set as well. I can't speak to any overlap between the two but I'm sure Dean and John were familiar enough with the Yazoo (and other) comps to avoid anything of that sort. In other words......yea, it's great.

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That Ayler box will be something to see (and hear!). Better start savin' my pennies....

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From recent email exchanges with Ben Young (late of Verve and recently with BMG), he was involved with the project. His connection with WKCR didn't hurt. He does quality work from my experiences.

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