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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Various Artists - 13 Miniatures For Albert Ayler (RogueArt, 2012) ****

(***** for Joe McPhee's closing track)

By Paolo Casertano

Reviewing a compilation can be a hard work.  Even when the compilation is a large excerpt of a well-matched tribute to such a seminal and groundbreaking free jazz figure as Albert Ayler. RogueArt gives us the chance to have a documentation of the influences and legacies of the great saxophonist. 

Looking at the names of the artists performing in this concert, held in Paris on December 2nd 2010, is retracing the last thirty years of free jazz and improvisation history. From the saxophones of Urs Leimgruber and John Tchicai to the drums of Ramon Lopez and Simon Goubert, through the pressing poetry contribution of Steve Dalachinskythe trumpet of Jean-Luc Capozzo and the many voices of Lucia Recio. With giant and superb musicians as Barre Philips, Joëlle Léandre, Evan Parker and Joe McPhee (I’d die to see such a quartet in a jam session) towering for the joy of our ears on their respective instruments.

Listening to the album is indeed enjoyable. And there are, in my opinion, three gems. First is the beguiling dialogue between Joe Mcphee’s sax and Jean-Luc Capozzo’s trumpet. Second is the next piece, a solo by Evan Parker, which takes my breath away with his circular breathing (yes, I know… I’m sorry). The third, and my favourite, is Joe McPhee, the closing act. The author of what I consider as one of the recent best releases, the Ithaca duo with Eli Keszler, offers us here an intimate and touching solo made of silent whispers and feeble moans. Shivers. If one day we will decide to set a new category on this blog for “the best track of the month”, my vote will go to this piece.

I believe Albert Ayler (or Elbert Héileur - as you can appreciate from the French introduction) would have been happy of such a party in his honour.

Listen to excerpts here and buy if you like in the same place. Buy from 

Please take a look at a picture that 
I particularly like.

© stef


Stef said...

Hi Paolo, great review. I agree with you - these three tracks are also my favorites. Cheers, stef.

George said...

the video, too: