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Albert Ayler facts for kids

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Albert Ayler
Photograph of a man with a short afro hairstyle and short goatee playing saxophone, arching his back to raise the instrument above his head
Ayler c. 1967–68
Background information
Born (1936-07-13)July 13, 1936
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died November 25, 1970(1970-11-25) (aged 34)
New York City
Genres Jazz, free jazz, avant-garde jazz
Occupation(s) Saxophonist, bandleader, composer
Instruments Tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, bagpipes
Years active 1952–1970
Labels Bird Notes, ESP-Disk, Impulse!, Ayler
Associated acts Gary Peacock, Don Cherry, Sunny Murray, Roswell Rudd, Alan Silva, Donald Ayler, Henry Vestine, John Coltrane

Albert Ayler ( July 13, 1936 – November 25, 1970) was an American avant-garde jazz saxophonist, singer and composer.

After early experience playing R&B and bebop, Ayler began recording music during the free jazz era of the 1960s. However, some critics argue that while Ayler's style is undeniably original and unorthodox, it does not adhere to the generally accepted critical understanding of free jazz. In fact, Ayler's style is difficult to categorize in any way, and it evoked incredibly strong and disparate reactions from critics and fans alike. His innovations have inspired subsequent jazz musicians.

His trio and quartet records of 1964, such as Spiritual Unity and The Hilversum Session, show him advancing the improvisational notions of John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman into abstract realms where whole timbre, and not just mainly harmony with melody, is the music's backbone. His ecstatic music of 1965 and 1966, such as "Spirits Rejoice" and "Truth Is Marching In", has been compared by critics to the sound of a brass band, and involved simple, march-like themes which alternated with wild group improvisations and were regarded as retrieving jazz's pre-Louis Armstrong roots.

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