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Friday, May 29, 2020

Third Man Records to Reissue Cleveland Native Albert Ayler's 1969 Album 'New Grass'

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 10:20 AM

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Third Man Records, the terrific imprint run by Jack White, will reissue New Grass, a 1969 album from Cleveland native Albert Ayler.

When it comes out on 180-gram vinyl on June 26, the reissue will mark the first pressing of the album in nearly 40 years. A limited edition Coke bottle clear vinyl with opaque green wisps will also be available at Third Man storefronts and select indie shops throughout the U.S.

Famously, the late Ayler experiments with soul music and goes back to his R&B roots (he started his career playing saxophone with Chicago bluesman Little Walter) on the album.

In the track “Message from Albert,” Ayler explains the disc comes from “a different dimension of his life.”

New Grass deserves reconsideration, if not for the heavy grooves and surprising arrangements, then for its bravery in challenging norms of the time; by the '60s, jazz was well-accepted as a uniquely American art form, while soul as a genre was very much still seen as primitive," reads a press release about the reissue. "Ayler melds them together and creates something novel, adventurous and completely his own. New Grass helped break down the unnecessary walls dividing genres and revealed music’s potential freedoms. The album has gone on to influence generations of jazz, R&B, funk, hip-hop, post punk, No Wave and unshrinking artists like Pharaoh Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Funkadelic, Jungle Brothers, Red Krayola, Sonic Youth and Mark E. Smith.”

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