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Fifty years on from its initial release, the free jazz blast of Spiritual Unity still has the power to shock by its creative force alone.

The simple folk-like themes, guttural microtonal smears and sudden honks became a free jazz staple before the saxophonist died in 1970, though few matched Ayler’s energy, let alone the precision phrasing that reflected military service and early years playing R&B. Gary Peacock on bass and drummer Sunny Murray are equal partners, creating a dense web of counterpoint and multi-time playing. Demanding, but essential.

Albert Ayler

Spiritual Unity 50th Anniversary Edition

(ESP)

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