albert ayler – spirits (1964)

Please play this over the last few bars of the Bargeld below. (That’s how I would play it for you if I were playing it for you.)

The third track from Ayler’s Spiritual Unity (1964).

The critic Ekkehard Jost wrote that “Ayler’s negation of fixed pitches finds a counterpart in Peacock’s and Murray’s negation of the beat. In no group of this time is so little heard of a steady beat […] The absolute rhythmic freedom frequently leads to action on three independent rhythmic planes.” Maintaining these qualities required deep group interaction, Ayler himself said of the record, “We weren’t playing, we were listening to each other”*.
*from: Wilmer, Valerie (1977). As Serious As Your Life: The Story of the New Jazz. London: Quartet. p. 105.