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Albert Ayler

Albert Ayler (1936 - 1970) was a jazz saxophonist.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio Ayler began playing saxophone in R&B bands in the 1950s. He began recording in 1962 and was known for his hard-edged style. He began touring Europe in 1964 with musicians like trumpeter Don Cherry, double bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Sonny Murray.

Ayler's music was influenced by advances in free jazz improvisation, especially the saxophone work of John Coltrane. It also blended folk, gospel and traditional marching music to create a potent, tuneful and often noisy mix. Ayler's saxophone playing relied heavily on honks, squeals, forced overtones and effects used by R&B saxophonists such as Louis Jordan, only exaggerated and emphasised.

Ayler was found drowned in New York City's East River in 1970, under mysterious circumstances.