Late greatness from Albert Ayler – two Impulse albums back to back! New Grass is one of the last albums that Ayler ever recorded – and one of his most memorable! The record shows Ayler at the crossroads, filled with emotion and meaning, struggling to convey his message to a lager audience. At times, he takes a strange soul/
jazz format to do so, and has tracks featuring backing by "the Soul Singers" – at others, he plays solo, with some of the most plaintive tones he ever laid down on wax! The record features an incredibly haunting "Message From Albert", plus the tracks "New Generation", "Sun Watcher", "New Ghosts", and "Free At Last". Completely fascinating, and a record that really makes you wonder what would have happened had he not died a mysterious young death! Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe is a really mind-expanding album that's unlike anything else he ever did! By the time of the record, Ayler had made a full round trip between the New York and European jazz scenes – leaving important influences wherever he went, and trying desperately to pick up new ones the further he moved on. Here, he's working in a style that's a bit like that of Archie Shepp
at the time – still steeped in free jazz and new thing ideals, but infused with a free-thinking approach to the music that allows for bold new styles and sounds. In addition to his own stunning work on tenor, Ayler's also blowing bagpipes and vocalizing a bit next to singer Mary Maria, who does a great recitation on one track of the record. Rhythm is by the two-bass team of Stafford James and Bill Folwell, next to drums by Muhammad Ali – and the whole thing's capped off by guitarist Henry Vestine, who plays in modes that range from bluesy to free. At the time, this one was kind of dismissed as a messed-up mistake that occurred at the end of Ayler's too-short life – but honestly, over the years, this record really really opens itself to us more and more, and we have to say that we think it's one of his most groundbreaking albums! Titles include "Island Harvest", "Drudgery", "Oh Love Of Life", "Masonic Inborn (part 1)", and "A Man Is Like A Tree".