No introduction needed as ESP Disk present a reissue of the undisputed classic Spiritual Unity from Albert Ayler.
1. (A1) "Ghosts: First Variation" 5:12
2. (A2) "The Wizard" 7:21
3. (B1) "Spirits" 6:47
4. (B2)"Ghosts: Second Variation" 10:00
LP total Time: 29:20
LP NOTE: LP deliberately does not include the bonus track on the CD, so as to replicate the original, intended track order
Personnel: Albert Ayler, tenor saxophone, Gary Peacock, bass, Sunny Murray, percussion.
Overview: Spiritual Unity, recorded on July 10, 1964, is the album that made Albert Ayler and ESP-Disk' famous (or, in
some people’s eyes/ears, infamous). Mr. Ayler had already recorded in Europe and, in February ’64, in New York, but
this was the first album where neither he nor his collaborators held back. It was also ESP's first jazz recording.
Spiritual Unity presented a new improvisation paradigm: looser structure, less regard for standard pitch, and no
obligation to present a regular beat. Ayler’s sound was unprecedented, much rawer than any other jazz of the time.
Sometimes it was expressed in squalls of untempered sound, sometimes in outbursts of poignant spontaneous melody.
Meanwhile, under and around the leader’s unfettered self-expressions, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Sunny
Murray reinvented the roles of their instruments.
The 50th Anniversary Expanded Edition includes as a bonus the track briefly substituted for "Spirits" on an early vinyl
edition. It is the same tune known as "Vibrations" on the album of that title on Arista/Freedom (AKA Ghosts when issued
on Debut) and as "[tune Q]" on the Revenant box set Holy Ghost. It will be the first time both "Spirits" and "Vibrations"
have been on an ESP edition of Spiritual Unity.
Press Quotes: "If you haven't heard this record, you've missed out on one of the most profound artistic statements of
the 20th century." - All About Jazz
"The first 'variation' of 'Ghosts' lifts that bare, unadorned theme into realms that no previous jazz musician had ever
dared, and superlatives simply run out in trying to find a terminology for its bleak power and – never let it be forgotten –
control. … Spiritual Unity is one of the essential recordings of the new jazz and should be in every serious collection." -
Penguin Guide to Jazz
"Ayler's negation of fixed pitches finds a counterpart in Peacock's and Murray's negation of the beat. In no group at this
time is so little heard of a steady beat, as in the trio and quartet recordings of the Ayler group. The absolute rhythmic
freedom frequently leads to action on three independent rhythmic planes: Ayler improvises in long drawn-out sound
spans, Peacock hints at chains of impulses, irregular and yet swinging in a remote sense, Murray plays on cymbals with a
very live resonance, creating colour rather than accentuation." - Ekkehard Jost’s seminal 1974 book Free Jazz
"Spiritual Unity was the album that pushed Albert Ayler to the forefront of jazz's avant-garde.... It was really the first
available document of Ayler's music that matched him with a group of truly sympathetic musicians, and the results are a
magnificently pure distillation of his aesthetic. … Yet as liberated and ferociously primitive as Ayler sounds, the group
isn't an unhinged mess -- all the members listen to the subtler nuances in one another's playing, pushing and responding
where appropriate. Their collective improvisation is remarkably unified -- and as for the other half of the album's title,
Ayler conjures otherworldly visions of the spiritual realm with a gospel-derived fervor."- Steve Huey, All Music Guide Available from 25.09.2015