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Live In Greenwich Village: The Complete Impulse Recordings [Live]

Cal Cobbs Jr., Sunny Murray, Albert AylerAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 1998 $13.56  
Audio CD, Live, 1998 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Holy Ghost 7:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Truth Is Marching In12:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Our Prayer 4:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Spirits Rejoice16:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Divine Peacemaker12:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Angels 9:53$0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. For John Coltrane13:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Change Has Come 6:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Light In Darkness10:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Heavenly Home 8:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Spiritual Rebirth 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Infinite Spirit 6:37$0.69  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Omega Is The Alpha10:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Universal Thoughts 8:22$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 6, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Grp Records
  • ASIN: B00000DD1S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,784 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

There really was no one like Albert Ayler in jazz during the 1960s. Sure, John Coltrane could play monumentally complex sax, only to jettison the learned architecture for a complete reversal of virtuosity in his last works. And Pharoah Sanders could haunt and beguile with mournful cries and yawps. But Ayler was altogether different: he took the scarcest of melodies--folk and church tunes, really--and elevated them to spiritual zeniths. These live cuts were once super hard to find, on a scattering of LPs released in the 1970s. Collected as a whole on two CDs, they are a thing of pristine, if boundary-testing, beauty. Ayler takes barely any time at all before wailing into his stratospheric cries on tenor sax, and his brother Donald follows suit on trumpet with nearly the same quick leaps. The extended band includes, at its largest, the Ayler brothers with a full string quartet (Michael Sampson, violin; Joel Freedman, cello; Bill Folwell and Alan Silva, basses) and drummer Beaver Harris. They play numerous, almost easily-recognizable melodies from their oeuvre, including "Truth Is Marching In," "Spirits Rejoice," and "Omega Is the Alpha." They also offer "For John Coltrane," recorded in early 1967 after Trane's untimely demise. Spectacular would be a simple way to describe Ayler's ensemble and his compositions. But it wouldn't be out of proportion to the music. There's a reason, after all, that new jazz scion Anthony Braxton refers to avant-garde jazz of the late-1960s and after as the "post-Ayler continuum." Ayler pushed and pushed. And succeeded. --Andrew Bartlett

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ultimately important human achievement February 24, 2000
Format:Audio CD
If heavily armed aliens came to Earth and said, "Give us a reason why we should not wipe humans off the face of the planet," I would play them "Angels" from the first disc of this two disc set, and they would leave in shame. It took me a long time to come to a point where I could appreciate Ayler, but this CD, which is among the finest work he ever did, helped a lot. Ayler seemed to believe that every sound that could be made should be a part of music, and this is why he includes "noise" in his playing, along with lightspeed solos, blasts of enormous tonalities, and pure sheets of abstract sound. His melodic statements are simple but played with such force and conviction and such rawness that it demands some sort of reaction from the listener. You will either think you are hearing God's own music or the worst sort of devilish noise; there are no halfway marks with Ayler.
This CD set really shows Albert Ayler at his best, combining musical ideas to create the essentially spiritual sound that he heard in his head, a sound that was meant to inspire his listeners to transcendence. This is not easy music to listen to because it violates nearly every rule of not only jazz but music as it is normally played and heard, but it is terribly, terribly important to listen to this music. Why? Because Albert Ayler's music is one of the most pure expressions of the human spirit ever recorded. If you listen to this, I mean really listen, and not try to use it as background music - if you give it your full attention, put aside your preconceptions about what music should or should not be, and open your mind to the sounds on these two CDs, you will be changed. And for the better.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing. August 5, 2005
Format:Audio CD
"Live in Greenwich Village: The Complete Impulse! Recordings" brings together two Albert Ayler LPs, "Albert Ayler in Greenwich Village" and the posthumous "The Village Concerts", together with a track released on a compilation and one unreleased piece, all recorded in Greenwich Village in Manhattan between 1965 and 1967. Ayler by this point had totally codefied his music, and was still outside of any commercial influence, and the performances are nothing short of astounding.

These recordings find Ayler surrounded by sympathetic musicians, including his brother Don on trumpet, who totally believe in what he's doing-- the music is largely familiar sounding march themes played in harmony and unison by the two horns, supported more often than not by strings, with drumming abandoning timekeeping and instead coloring the music further. Improvisation is fierce, with both Ayler's reachign far beyond themselves-- their playing is clearly inspired. Honestly, just about everything on here is nothing short of astonishing in its beauty and power. Of particular note is "Truth is Marching In" from the first disc-- swelling as Don states the theme and Ayler plays counter and harmony to him while Michel Samson lays full counterpoint on violin and the rhythm section explodes. Also quite interesting is the piano and tenor duet "Angels" and "For John coltrane", again the only piece featuring Ayler on alto accompanied only by four strings.

The sound on these recordings is fantastic-- crisp, clear, and could have been recorded last year. The liner notes include essays by Nat Hentoff and Robert Palmer written for the original LPs most of this material was released on.

If you're new to Ayler, this may be a good place to start, certainly the performance is brilliant throughout. If you're not new to Ayler, you should probably have a copy of this, the material contained here is essential.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can I Get A Witness? March 14, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Astonishing 2-CD set, excellent value, good packaging (except for ugly cover) and outstanding booklet with notes from Nat Hentoff and Robert Palmer. Impulse! usually equals quality and this offering is no exception. Combining the live dates was a particularly good, and customer-friendly, idea.

It's been said of Coltrane that he didn't so much play the music as "play through it" in order to reach a higher spiritual goal. One can also hear this in the playing of Eric Dolphy who, though quite technical at times, appeared to be constantly exploring, looking for that pure place. Pharaoh Sanders reveals the same struggle. But in the playing of Albert Ayler one finds the apotheosis of this approach.

Listening to Ayler is akin to witnessing old-testament revelation, he plays with the inspired intoxication and sanctified fury of a man who has not only been to the mountaintop and seen the Promised Land but already has one foot in it. You will never hear this music in an elevator for the simple reason that it would cause businessmen to rip off their ties, weep like infants, get on their knees and pray, and confess their countless sins of mediocrity and cowardice.

While Ayler certainly deserves center stage for his euphoric and completely original contribution to jazz, the other players fan the flames expertly. Brother Don, on trumpet, shares the vision and is no slouch. Both drummers featured, Beaver Harris and Sunny Murray, understand that Ayler generates such intense rhythm that timekeeping is not an issue; they are free to maneuver around the beat expressively.

Most intriguing of all is the use of strings. Ayler went with two bass players on both sets, also using a cellist and violin player on some tracks.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A musical find
I had never heard of Ayler until a friend sent me a snippet of his music on

Good enough I bought the two CD set - and no regrets. Free jazz with beauty.
Published on May 6, 2010 by David E. Mcreynolds
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent
This double Albert Ayler live set is gripping for a few reasons. It uses a violin, which was done by Cecil Taylor and many other free jazz players in the 1970s; but when this was... Read more
Published on January 19, 2010 by Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking marches, dirges, and triumphant wails!
"Live from Greenwich Village" is over two hours of rollicking marches, dirges, and triumphant wails recorded live in fantastic sound quality, as you would expect from a major label... Read more
Published on January 25, 2009 by Jessamine
5.0 out of 5 stars The most spiritual free jazz I've ever heard....
This is the most spiritual free jazz I've ever heard. It's almost free jazz infused with gospel. The titles of the songs are almost all spiritual in nature (Holy Ghost, Our... Read more
Published on October 23, 2008 by Grigory's Girl
This two-CD collection of live recordings from the late 60s should be essential music in anyone's jazz collection. Read more
Published on October 9, 2007 by David Keymer
5.0 out of 5 stars trully a classic
This along with spiritual unity and vibrations are some of the best recordings in the history of jazz. Read more
Published on December 28, 2006 by edcerc
4.0 out of 5 stars The Cure For The Big C
I know nothing about this guy(that's why why i love listmania-the discoverys),but in listening to these clips,me thinks many of the reviews here describing this as a revoloution &... Read more
Published on March 18, 2006 by Tobias
5.0 out of 5 stars Fightin' Words
For reference scroll down to the inflamed review by Camper-man.

This reviewer's attempt to turn "the New Thing" into some kind of lame footnote to 20th century atonal... Read more
Published on March 14, 2005 by Billy Willy
3.0 out of 5 stars Fanfare, or free jazz ?
That's always the question when a song starts.
And the answer comes soon, as always with Albert Ayler.
In short : good, but not as well inspired as in Witches & Devils.
Published on February 5, 2002 by lolo
4.0 out of 5 stars I Remember Albert
I had the rare privilege and honor to have been stationed with Albert Ayler with the 76th U.S. Army Band in Orleans, France, from June, 1959, to June, 1961. Read more
Published on December 30, 2000 by "prsgrillo"
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