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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Holy Ghost: Albert Ayler

AylerJazz writer Dan Morgenstern once compared the sound of tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler’s 1960s avant-garde groups to “a Salvation Army marching band on LSD.” Holy Ghost, a new 9-CD collection of previously-unreleased live and studio recordings from Albert Ayler, is the subject of this Night Lights program, featuring an early Ayler recording of the standard “On Green Dolphin Street,” the music that Ayler and his brother played at John Coltrane’s funeral in 1967 (a request Coltrane made before he died), an Ayler collaboration with Don Cherry, and excerpts from interviews with both Ayler and Cherry.

The Revenant site includes a link to an unabridged essay about Ayler’s time in Europe from 1959 to 1962, and a 1992 biography remains online.

Music Heard On This Episode

Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes (Smithsonian Folkways, 1964)
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Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes (Smithsonian Folkways, 1964)

Notes: Opening theme.

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Introduction
Albert Ayler — My Name Is Albert Ayler (Black Lion, 1963)
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On Green Dolphin Street
Albert Ayler — Holy Ghost (Revenant, 1962)
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The Wizard
Albert Ayler — Holy Ghost (Revenant, 1964)

Notes: w/Gary Peacock and Sunny Murray

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Children
Albert Ayler — Holy Ghost (Revenant, 1964)

Notes: w/Don Cherry

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Spirits Rejoice
Albert Ayler — Holy Ghost (Revenant, 1966)

Notes: w/Don Ayler

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Japan/Universal Indians
Albert Ayler — Holy Ghost (Revenant, 1967)

Notes: from Newport 1967

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Love Cry/Truth Is Marching In/Our Prayer
Albert Ayler — Holy Ghost (Revenant, 1967)
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Blues
Albert Ayler — Holy Ghost (Revenant, 1968)

Notes: Outtake/demo from NEW GRASS sessions

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C Minor
Albert Ayler — Holy Ghost (Revenant, 1970)

Notes: From one of Ayler's last live performances.

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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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