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Forgiveness

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About the artist

Charles Gayle (born February 28, 1939) is a free jazz saxophonist, pianist, bass clarinetist, and percussionist.

Some of Gayle's history is unclear. He was apparently homeless for approximately twenty years, playing saxophone on street corners and subway platforms around New York City. In 1988, he gained fame through a trio of albums recorded by a Swedish label, Silkheart Records. Since then he has become a major figure in free jazz, recording for labels including Black Saint, Knitting Factory Records, FMP , and Clean Feed. He has also taught music at Bennington College.

Gayle's music is spiritual, and heavily inspired by the Old and New Testaments. He has explicitly dedicated several albums to God. His childhood was influenced by religion, and his musical roots trace to black gospel music. After his church experiences, Gayle credits among his influences Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Thelonious Monk, and Art Tatum. He has performed and recorded with Cecil Taylor, William Parker, and Rashied Ali.

Gayle's most celebrated work to date remains the album Touchin' on Trane (FMP) with Parker and Ali. Though he established his reputation primarily as a tenor saxophonist, he has increasingly turned to other instruments, notably the piano (which was, in fact, his original instrument) and alto saxophone. More controversially, he has sometimes included lengthy spoken-word addresses to the audience in his concerts touching on his political and religious beliefs; for a period he was even largely performing as a mime, "Streets the Clown".

In 2001, Gayle recorded an album titled Jazz Solo Piano. This disc consisted mostly of straightforward jazz standards, and is a response to critics who charge that free jazz musicians cannot play bebop. In 2006, Gayle followed up with a second album of solo piano, this time featuring original material, titled Time Zones. He has also recently released several albums on Clean Feed and Ayler Records that include traditional jazz standards.

In 2006, poet Steve Dalachinsky published a book of poems written while watching Gayle play entitled The Final Nite & Other Poems: Complete Notes from a Charles Gayle Notebook 1987-2006.

This live CD from Krakow-based NotTwo Records, presents Gayle in company of Hillard Greene - bass, and Klaus Kugel - drums.
Recorded at Jazzga Club, Lódz, Poland on April 25, 2007

Biography

Born: February 28, 1939 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Charles Gayle made his first significant impact on the free jazz scene with a series of critically acclaimed New York performances at the Knitting Factory in the mid- to late '80s. The tenor saxophonist's hyper-kinetic free expressionism draws on stylistic devices pioneered in the '60s by the late free jazz icon Albert Ayler. Like Ayler, Gayle employs a huge tone which, more often than not, he splits into its individual harmonic components. Timbral distortion is a key aspect of Gayle's work. His...
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Forgiveness, Charles Gayle Trio
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