Exclusive Daily Download: "Spirits Rejoice," Albert Ayler

One of Albert Ayler's most thrilling jazz tracks.

Published September 13, 2006 7:01AM (EDT)

Albert Ayler's "Spirit's Rejoice," recorded in 1965 at Judson Hall with an unusual ensemble featuring two basses and three horns, is one of the saxophone great's most thrilling recordings. Ayler milks the New Orleans jazz possibilities of the three-horn lineup (with his brother Donal on trumpet and Charles Tyler on alto sax), leading the band through passages of all-out cacophony that suddenly melt into passionate gospel harmonies. Drummer Sunny Murray, playing on a stripped-down kit and perhaps reacting to how much room Henry Grimes and Gary Peacock are taking up on the bass, leaves more space than usual, punctuating the music with discreet explosions and accents rather than flooding it under a wash of cymbals.

-- T.B.

By Salon Staff

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