Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Henry Kaiser/Mike Keneally/Vinny Golia/Aurora Josephson/Joe Morris/Damon Smith/Weasel Walter 

Healing Force: The Songs of Albert Ayler (Cuneiform)

Wednesday, Dec 19 2007

An icon of 1960s free jazz, tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler's singularly extreme approach influenced figures disparate as John Coltrane, Peter Brötzmann, and Patti Smith. Healing Force pays tribute to Ayler's oft-reviled late period, including late-'60s albums New Grass and Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe, wherein he'd embraced elements of R&B and peace-and-love psychedelia (at which most acolytes screamed "sell-out"). Recorded in Berkeley, Force features locals Henry Kaiser (guitar), Damon Smith (bass), and Aurora Josephson (voice); NYC out-jazz guitarist Joe Morris and Zappa alumnus Mike Keneally (guitar); drummer Weasel Walter from noise-punks Flying Luttenbachers; and Vinny Golia, multi-sax giant of SoCal's avant-jazz scene. While lovingly preserving the folk-like naïveté of his melodies, this lot summons Ayler's invigorating cry without attempting aspects of his style. Golia wails passionately, the guitarists generate some truly scary noise, and Josephson's serene Kim Gordon–like croon is the balm offsetting Force's sustained high-energy agitation. While the "cosmic" lyrics are, well, dated, Healing Force is a majestic, cathartic maelstrom to chase away evil spirits.

About The Author

Mark Keresman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"