Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Miles Ahead 

Wednesday, Mar 5 2008
The Biblical proverb that a prophet is without honor in his own home goes a ways toward explaining why the young saxophonist Albert Ayler split for Sweden in the early 1960s. Stockholm was a whole lot freer than Ayler's native Cleveland, yet audiences proved to be only slightly more accepting of his dissonant, full-throttle style of play. An early proponent of free jazz, Ayler rejected melody and tempo in favor of feel. He was uncompromising, like so many pioneers, to the point of destruction. Swedish director Kasper Collin's invaluable and elegiac documentary, My Name is Albert Ayler, suggests that the path-breaking sax man found his voice in the Land of the Midnight Sun, but could only make his mark in the Big Apple. Ayler bonded with Coltrane in New York (ultimately playing at his funeral), made records that divided critics and jazz fans, and in 1970 mysteriously drowned himself in the East River at age 34. Collin, who will be present at all screenings, has crafted an inspiring, heartrending, and mysterious saga of artistic integrity and familial loyalty. Above all, it is the quintessential portrait of an artist who was ahead of his time -- and knew it.
Sun., March 23, 2, 4, 7:15 & 9:15 p.m., 2008

About The Author

Michael Fox


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


  • U2 @ SAP Center in San Jose
    Last night U2 performed the first U.S. date of it’s Innocence + Experience tour at SAP Center in San Jose. All four band members were present despite recent injuries sustained by both Bono and Edge. The sold out show took audience members on a walk down memory lane as the band revisited their roots. The innovative stage and lighting used gave the arena show an intimate feel, and engaged audience members in all sections of the venue. Photographs by Sugarwolf.
  • Bay to Breakers 2015 - NSFW
    The 103rd annual Bay to Breakers 12K race was packed on Sunday despite the cold weather. With a starting point a few blocks from The Embarcadero, people dressed as bananas, Elvis and everything in between ran west through the city and finished at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto Ocean Beach.

    Photographs by Christopher Victorio.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular