NEW YORK EYE AND EAR CONTROL
1. Dons Dawn (1:00)
2. AY (21:16)
3. ITT (22:21)
(No composer credits given)
Albert Ayler (tenor saxophone)
Don Cherry (trumpet)
John Tchicai (alto saxophone)
Roswell Rudd (trombone)
Gary Peacock (bass)
Sunny Murray (drums)
July 17, 1964
At the home of Paul Haines, New York.
Released as New York Eye And Ear Control on ESP (US) 1016, Base Record (Italy) ESP 1016, Get Back (Italy) ESP10162, ZYX-Music (Germany) ESP 1016-2 CD, Abraxas (Italy) ESP1016, Calibre (Netherlands) ESPCD 1016, ESP (US) ESPCD 1016, ESP (US) 1016 (April 2008 CD release). Also included in The Complete Esp Disk Recordings, Abraxas (Italy) ESPBOX 001. In November 2017 ESP released a white vinyl edition. Personal Affair/ESP (US) PAESP-007 cassette release (2018). March 2020 saw the release of a 4 CD boxset: Albert Ayler: The Early Albums Collection on the Enlightenment label, EN4CD9178, which included a copy of New York Eye And Ear Control.
From the sleevenotes
“This music was recorded on July 17, 1964 by New York artist Michael Snow for use as the sound track of his film entitled ‘New York Eye and Ear Control’. The music was recorded prior to the production of the film.”
The following is taken from an interview with Michael Snow in the Austin Chronicle:
“AC: The soundtrack for NYE&EC is pretty legendary in the world of free jazz.
MS: Oh yes, it's by one of the most amazing free jazz groups. It's Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Roswell Rudd, John Tchicai, Sunny Murray, and Gary Peacock. I had just come across the music of these people, and I was completely knocked out. I had arrived in New York two years before, hoping that I was going to stop playing music and make it as a visual artist, try to get gallery shows and all that, which I did do. But running across all that music that was going on in New York at the time changed my plans! For me, there was an immediate connection between free jazz and New Orleans jazz, in which I had been previously involved, playing Louis Armstrong, Hot Five. But the point that I'd like to make is that, although I was very affected by all these great players, after a while I felt some differences of opinion with what they were doing in their sessions. They [the NYE&EC musicians] all used to play "heads," you know, a tune of some kind, and then a solo, and then "head" again, and I found myself disagreeing with that. When I had them come to the studio to record the soundtrack, I was careful to tell them that I didn't want any themes, but as much as possible ensemble playing. They accepted and they performed this way, but, in my opinion, this is one reason for which the music is so great. I mean, they're great, fantastic musicians, but they were stuck in that business of the statement of theme, alternating with solos. That's when I started working on my own music, which is what you'll hear with my trio, CCMC. Hmm, see, this is what happens, everything gets confused in these interviews!”
The full interview, conducted by Athina Rachel Tsangari, is available online at The Austin Chronicle.
(Offsite review of 2013 vinyl reissue:
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