Friday, April 18, 2008
I'm not one to go around recommending movies. But! There's an excellent documentary opening tonight at the Anthology Film Archives. My Name is Albert Ayler explores the free jazz saxophonist’s too-short life and legacy. It plays through Tuesday night.
I had a chance to see the film during its premiere at the Anthology Film Archives last November. It's directed by Swedish filmmaker Kasper Collin, who spoke about Ayler after the November screening. This is the result of nearly seven years of work. He built the film around various audio recordings of Ayler’s voice from interviews. Collin also found archival footage from Stockholm and New York featuring some scorching live performances. All this is rounded out by talking head interviews with friends, family and musicians who knew Ayler. Their stories are just a small part of the film, which humanizes the enigmatic musician who died in 1975. He was 34.
Oh, and that headline? Ever confident, Ayler always had this to say about his rather jarring brand of jazz, “If people don’t like it now, they will.”
Here's a little background on Ayler: