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One of the unsung baritonists in jazz, Charles Tyler had a huge tone on his instrument and played with a great deal of fire, usually in fairly free settings. After studying piano growing up in Indianapolis, Tyler switched to clarinet, alto, and finally baritone. Tyler had met Albert Ayler at age 14, and after moving to Cleveland in 1960, he had opportunities to jam with Ayler; in fact, when Tyler moved to New York in 1965, it was specifically to play with the innovative saxophonist. Soon he was part of Ayler's group, recording Bells and Spirits Rejoice, and led two sessions of his own for ESP (1966-1967). Tyler studied with David Baker at Indiana University (1967-1968) before he spent a four-year period teaching and playing with adventurous musicians in Los Angeles, including Arthur Blythe, Bobby Bradford, and David Murray. He moved back to New York in 1973, where he freelanced, doing stints with Cecil Taylor, Dewey Redman, and Billy Bang (1981-1982). Despite his talents, Charles Tyler never became a major name, but he did lead rewarding albums for Ak-Ba (1974), Nessa, Adelphi, Sonet, Storyville, and Silkheart. ~ Scott Yanow