Holy Ghost Cast Recording
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Top Customer Reviews
This set, comprised of seven full discs of music, two discs of interviews, and a "bonus disc" (early Ayler recordings when he was in the Army), is a magnificent tribute to one of the major forces in jazz history. Although I had already owned the ESP recordings and the one Hat Hut release, this set by Revenant by far fills in the gaps of his creative history, documents his remarkable evolution (especially from 1962-1964), and features sessions that many people have talked about but have never been able to hear until now. Some of these rare gems include the following: his performance of "Four" with Cecil Taylor and the legendary Jimmy Lyons in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1962; his performance with Pharoah Sanders in Jan 1968 in NYC; and his performance with Sam Rivers, among others, at Town Hall in 1969. That such historical works have finally been released after so many decades is reason to rejoice.
As for the packaging, the set features a nice plastic "spirit box" which holds all the goodies, including a 208 page hardback book that is the most comprehensive look into the career of Albert Ayler to date. It is filled with insightful commentary from people who had performed with him or knew him. Inside the box are paper reproductions of concert flyers, a magazine, a hand-written note, and a photo of young Albert.Read more ›
The music first-- that's after all why we're here. The set follows Ayler's career chronologically, containing some essential early recordings that really help with understanding his development, some reissuing of extremely rare material, and some great material that augments what's already available. As the set moves in chronological order, I will too in this context.
Ayler's early development, prior to the release of this set, was virtually unknown-- certainly the differences between "The First Recordings" (where Ayler was an aggressive free jazz tenor) and the essential "My Name is Albert Ayler" (where he was positively fierce) were hard to understand. This set traces Ayler's development from before any of these recordings-- the bonus CD contains two tracks from the Army band that Ayler performed in (recorded in 1960)-- his playing is advanced, but with nothing to lead one to believe the sort of playing that was to come was in him, I expect.Read more ›
As far as the music is concerned, for those familiar with his available recorded work this is an exhaustive collection of previously unreleased material. It spans from his Army days to shortly before his death. The recording from John Coltrane's funeral, the Cecil Taylor track and a few others have already reached legendary status as bootlegs.
For those who have yet to experience Ayler's music this would be a good place to start because it covers the entire span of his recording career and is actually a pretty good sampling of his talent. Another interesting factor is that the recordings cover sessions where he was a leader, sideman, and as a collaborator.
This 10 disc set of rare and unissued material is a survey of Ayler's music from start to finish.There are some amazing finds here, including sessions featuring Cecil Taylor's quartet and Pharoah Sanders. There are interviews with Ayler on two of the discs. The 200 page book included in the set is a fascinating read in it's own right. With a wide range of contributors, this will probably remain the definitive overview of Ayler and his place in American music.
So, if you know you like Ayler's music, buy this set now, don't delay! And if you don't know, try one of the recordings on ESP or Impulse first. Then, having found that you do, buy it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Most of what has been said here is true: Breathtaking music, silly flower, lousy paper sleeves, (the Captain Beefheart Grow Fins: Rarities 1965-1982 [ENHANCED CD] sleeves were far... Read morePublished on July 29, 2013 by Cliff Chard
First of all a big thanks to Revenant Records it's producers, staff and collaborators for coming up with the most comprehensive project out on Albert Ayler, it was long overdue. Read morePublished on January 9, 2013 by dolphytone
My only bad point to this editions is, that in some takes listening to sound details
become absolutelly impossible to appreciate. Read more
12 discs are a lot of listening for any artist. listening to Albert Ayler is a challenging experience in small doses. So this is a monumental task. Read morePublished on May 18, 2008 by Rimshot
Listen really closely to the Pharoah track. Near the end you'll hear someone soloing on tenor in the left channel. Read morePublished on July 2, 2007 by Matt Stephens
There is a 3 LP edition that is selections from the 9 CD set. The essay with the LP set is extracted from the CD set. Read morePublished on May 30, 2007 by Kevin J. Roberts
This Amazon listing is actually for the vinyl release of the same name, not the 10 CD Holy Ghost box set described in most of these reviews, and which over three LPs contains only... Read morePublished on December 3, 2006 by Joe Lunday
After being wholly enthralled by Ayler's Greenwich Village recordings (also fantastic), I couldn't resist splurging on this set. Read morePublished on February 10, 2005 by Josh
Though the fidelity of the sound can sometimes be as raw as the music, but better than the original ESP efforts, there is nothing superfluous in this production. Read morePublished on February 1, 2005 by Ian Muldoon