Sure, a young Albert Ayler toured with harmonica-blues-great Little Walter. Sure, an adult Albert Ayler played at jazz legend John Coltrane's funeral. But Ayler ain't traditional blues or jazz. He was a highly spiritual musician who lived and played on another level — in another time and space — than most of his contemporaries. He made sounds that amazed some and mystified many. A quiet, modest man off stage, he famously said, "If people don't like it now, they will." This album, "Spiritual Unity," tops nearly every avant, improvisational and "free" jazz list out there. Hugely influentional both at the time and still today, this album also launched the revolutionary ESP-Disk record label (with the truthful tagline: "You never heard such sounds in your life.") Ayler had recorded a couple times in Europe before this album, and he went on to record other stunning material, but this is the one that cemented his name in the halls of music mythology. Sadly, Ayler died under mysterious circumstances just 16 years after this records' release. He was just 34 years old. So... Open your ears. Open your mind. And note that both AllMusic Guide and The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide gave this album their max rating of "5 Stars." The Penguin Guide to Jazz went even further, assigning its coveted "Crown" rating. - Roger Stolle (Cat Head)



1.    "Ghosts: First Variation"    5:12
2.    "The Wizard"    7:20
3.    "Spirits"    6:46
4.    "Ghosts: Second Variation"    10:01

Albert Ayler "Spiritual Unity" LP