Sunday, July 24, 2022

Albert Ayler - Revelations, The Complete ORTF 1970 Fondation Maeght Recordings (4 x CD's)




Albert Ayler - Revelations, The Complete ORTF 1970 Fondation Maeght Recordings (4 x CD's)

The years that immediately preceded Albert Ayler's 1970 death found the saxophonist in a state of free fall that mirrored the chaotic side of his art. Ayler had become one of the most visceral voices of the American free jazz movement, but his uproarious style wasn't selling many records and he struggled with both financial stability and mental health. His attempts at crossing over to a more mainstream sound on albums like New Grass were largely ignored by consumers and alienated some of the fans and critics that had been in Ayler's corner. In July 1970, he traveled to France for two concerts at Fondation Maeght art museum, which ultimately became some of the last times he would play live before his body was found in New York's East River that November. Audio from parts of these concerts has been released in various forms over the years, but Revelations: The Complete ORTF 1970 Fondation Maeght Recordings presents the entirety of both nights for the first time, mastered directly from the original tapes. The heightened sound quality alone puts Revelations in a higher class than previously released recordings from these shows, but the inclusion of more than two hours of never before commercially released material paints a complete picture of just how excellent the playing was and how redemptive of an experience these shows must have been for Ayler.

Along with vocalist/soprano saxophonist Mary Maria Parks and longtime collaborator Call Cobbs on piano (present for only the second night due to missing his plane for the first concert), Ayler was joined on these dates by drummer Alan Blairman and bassist Steve Tintweiss, a rhythm section he'd never played or rehearsed with before these gigs. Despite that somewhat ramshackle approach, the group clicks magically. Parks' lyrical and vocal contributions to Ayler's music were a key part of trying to appeal to younger rock listenership, with her sentiments of peace and love giving some albums in his later catalog a hippy affect. Her improvisatory skills on soprano saxophone were never captured in the studio like they are here, and in addition to strong vocal performances, Parks' sax solos serve as powerful counterparts to Ayler's tenor on pieces like "Holy Holy." The band transcends with the addition of Cobbs' heavenly keyboard contributions on the second night, softening Ayler's fiery playing on older songs like "Truth Is Marching In" and giving moments like "Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe" a somber steadiness that was absent from the quartet reading the night before.

There's a sense of triumph and gratitude throughout every moment of Revelations, and Ayler's creative journey makes more sense through the lens of these complete concerts. All the revolutionary passion that may have seemed abandoned for more commercial fare is on full display in both the rapturous improvisations and more structured moments. Along with the hours of amazing previously unheard music, Revelations shows that in his final days, Ayler wasn't compromising his vision, but actively expanding it. (AlMusic review by Fred Thomas )


Pt.1     Pt.2 


Track lists


01 Albert Ayler Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe 7:37

02 Albert Ayler Birth Of Mirth 10:11

03 Albert Ayler Masonic Inborn 6:39

04 Albert Ayler Revelations 1 5:35

05 Albert Ayler Oh! Love Of Life 3:37

06 Albert Ayler Island Harvest 4:47

07 Albert Ayler Heart Love 5:13


01 Albert Ayler Ghosts 10:30

02 Albert Ayler Love Cry 7:18

03 Albert Ayler Desert Blood 12:44

04 Albert Ayler Revelations 2 9:01

05 Albert Ayler Revelations 3 8:35

06 Albert Ayler Revelations 4 11:31

07 Albert Ayler Speaking In Tongues 4:21


01 Albert Ayler Truth Is Marching In 8:09

02 Albert Ayler Zion Hill, Aka Universal Message 8:34

03 Albert Ayler Again Comes The Rising Of The Sun 4:23

04 Albert Ayler Holy Family 11:32

05 Albert Ayler Revelations 5 20:45

06 Albert Ayler In Heart Only 5:10

07 Albert Ayler Revelations 6 6:53

08 Albert Ayler A Man Is Like A Tree 6:30


01 Albert Ayler Holy, Holy 19:27

02 Albert Ayler Spirits Rejoice 7:18

03 Albert Ayler Spirits 15:00

04 Albert Ayler Thank God For Women 5:32

05 Albert Ayler Spiritual Reunion 7:41

06 Albert Ayler Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe 9:57

07 Albert Ayler Mary Parks Vocal Announcement/Curtain Call 1:46




  1. "Witches & Devils" from 1975 is a good one.


    1. I like that Album too, Stephen.
      At least some of the tracks can be found on this set.

  2. Thanks Butterboy, enjoying these jazz Sundays.

    1. Thanks Bob Mac.
      When I was younger I didn't really pay attention to jazz but in my 40's I started after a prompt from a music store owner in Perth, and had my eyes opened and my mind expanded to the possibilities that exist. Jazz music can be very enlightening. At times a revelation.

  3. The Holy Ghost...from Cleveland!