A project that began in 1998, Collin's film is testament to the passion and dedication that the man and his wildly honking, but strangely tuneful music can inspire. Having tracked down all extant film footage (including Ayler's performance at John Coltrane's funeral service), the film uses old audio interviews, and recent interviews with his brother and father as a framework for Ayler's story.
Jack Gold reviews the film (and tells the story of Ayler's suicide):
For those devoted to listening or to performing jazz, in particular free jazz or improvised music, heartbreaking as it is, this film is a rarity and not to be missed.
Yesterday, I was trying to think of an example of a composer or musican who I initially hated and grew to really like. Even with Elliott Carter, Night Fantasies was instantly appealing. Lately, I've been listening to Mel Powell and Milton Babbitt but in both cases, I can't begin to understand it and more listening hasn't enlightened me. But Albert Ayler may be the best example where a deeper look has paid off. I wonder if this is because of my belated appreciation of Ayler's spiritual nature (as well as not judging his music in the shadow of John Coltrane and Dexter Gordon). For that matter, Powell or Babbitt may have a spiritual muse, but if they do, I haven't fought through the intellectualism to find it yet...
official film site. norwegian blogger who saw the film. albert ayler: his life and music (online book). click here and scroll for a matt groening quote on coming to terms with captain beefheart's trout mask replica.