Albert Ayler and His Message.
Peter Niklas Wilson.
Germany: Wolke Verlag, 2022.
No music swung as erratically between extremes as his: folk song,
march or acoustic apocalypse – anything was possible in the cosmos
of Albert Ayler’s soundscapes. With his furious instrumental glossolalia
and his pathos-laden ballads, the musician from Cleveland, Ohio quickly
became the most radical of the Sixties free jazz expressionists. In his hands
the saxophone became a different instrument and even John Coltrane’s
late work was unmistakably shaped by the influence of his younger colleague.
He had little time to proclaim his message of a new spiritual music:
in 1970, at just 34 years of age, Albert Ayler died in mysterious circumstances.
Peter Niklas Wilson spent six months in the USA following
in Albert Ayler’s footsteps. Through conversations with numerous contemporary witnesses (including Ayler’s father and brother, as well as drummers Sunny Murray
and Milford Graves, violinist Michael Samson, multi-instrumentalist
Howard Johnson, bassists Gary Peacock and Steve Tintweiss) and analysis
of both Ayler’s published and unpublished recordings, he reconstructs
the biography and erratic musical path of this prophet of the "new thing“.