ESP's first recording session was on July 10, 1964, in the tiny Variety Arts Recording Studio, just off Times Square. Just before 1 PM, Sunny Murray arrived, a large, genial walrus, moving and speaking with an easy agility that belied his appearance. Gary Peacock was next, tall, thin, ascetic looking, and soft spoken, with an introspective and kindly demeanor. Albert Ayler was last, small, wary and laconic. The walls of the reception area were covered with Latin album jackets.
The engineer quickly set up the mikes and began the session. B sat outside in the reception area with Annette Peacock, Gary's wife. As the music was heard through the open outer door of the control room, felt a sense of jubilation. At one point, the engineer fled the control room for a few minutes, but returned in time to change the tape for the next selection.
When the session was over, B learned that it had been recorded in monaural, although he remembered requesting a stereo recording. Happily, the engineer Joe had properly miked and mixed the session, and the recording stands today as a classic of the genre. After the session, the participants sat in a coffee shop next door, while they were paid and signed recording agreements. A few days later, B saw them off on their flight to Europe from Idlewild International Airport for a European tour. Don Cherry was with them.
Albert Ayler-saxophone Gary Peacock-bass Sunny Murray-percussion.
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