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The best evidence of this is probably Ayler's solo in "The Wizard"-- he cuts loose completely, bringing forth every groan and scream he can coax from his sax before yielding to a brief bass solo. Of the rest, "Spirits" gets a stunning reading, with Ayler's wide vibrato injecting a high level of emotive content into the music and Peacock's sympathetic arco/pizzicato accompaniment really holding firm. Of the two takes of "Ghosts" on the album, the former is much more relaxed, with Ayler's unaccompanied intro and relatively restrained soloing, the latter is extremely aggressive, filled with the idiom of Ayler's music, twisgting and turning and really getting in and around the piece.
This reissue, on the resurrected ESP Disk label, is essential.Read more ›
This recording is a masterpiece and must have been a revelation at the time to all with open ears. For an even more complete and brilliant document of Ayler's influential sound and immense presence, check out the Complete Greenwich Village recordings on Impulse! That is all for now.
There are a LOT of ways to listen to this album. Most people who hear it interpret is as a release of aggression and pain, but that really wasn't Alyer's intention. He was simply doing the only thing he COULD do, which was to play directly from his heart and soul without any concern for others' expectations. His playing was HIM. Many musicians have learned from his approach and have accomplished great things, but to this day Ayler's playing remains the strongest and the best.
As for the other two players on this album, drummer Sonny Murray and bassist Gary Peacock, I have only positive things to say as well. The sound that this trio attained stands as one of the greatest achievements in music. I'm not going to even attempt to elaborate on this - just LISTEN (!!!) and you will hear what I mean.
One last thought to close out this review: This is the closest thing to pure love that I have ever experienced through sound alone.
But words are meaningless when it comes to music, so I'll cut the jibber-jabber and let's just LISTEN, shall we?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This recording is a metaphor for Ayler's life: intense, wonderful, mysterious and unfortunately way too brief. Recorded in the days of the 3:00 minute expectation. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Dawn Jones
Fiery, aggressive and deeply passionate, "Spiritual Unity" is a watershed album in free jazz/improvisation. Ayler and Co. Read morePublished on September 1, 2010 by Christopher Roche
Don't buy this expecting it to be full of raw power and exciting improvising.
I know lots of people love this album: I find much of it very simple and uninventive - much... Read more
I've been on a kick lately of trying out different musical genres, which is what led me to buy "Spiritual Unity" by the Albert Ayler Trio. Read morePublished on September 9, 2009 by Brian Prange
...to awaken the savage beast. Or to make the somnolent beast savage once more. After the cool/hot intellectuality of be-bop, the classical musician's inevitable favorite jazz... Read morePublished on May 15, 2008 by Gio
Albert unquestionably took jazz to its 'logical' conclusion with his caustic fire-breathing, not for the faint of heart. Read morePublished on March 15, 2008 by echoes of empires
This album skipped a few (hundred?) decades and took jazz straight to its logical conclusion. Fast forward several million years, far past our own epoch in this particular cosmic... Read morePublished on July 28, 2006 by CG
On July 10th of 1964, Albert Ayler, Gary Peacock, and Sunny Murray walked into the tiny studio of the newly formed ESP label. Read morePublished on May 12, 2006 by Jessamine