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My Name Is Albert Ayler (dir. Kasper Collin)

John Lewis, Sight & Sound, November 2007

Synopsis

Feature-length documentary about the African-American saxophonist Albert Ayler (1936–1970), told through archive footage and new interviews with friends, family and musicians, including his brother and bandmate Donald Ayler, the drummer Sonny Murray, the bassist Gary Peacock and the photographer and writer Val Wilmer. The film tells his life story, from growing up in a middle-class black family in Cleveland, Ohio, playing oboe and then saxophone for a military band, touring the US with R&B bands, and then pioneering a radical form of avant-garde jazz in Stockholm and New York. The story ends with Ayler's death, presumed to be suicide, in 1970.

Total word count of piece: 832

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