Albums by Albert Ayler (Spiritual Unity, Spirits Rejoice) and Patty Waters (Sings, College Tour) are oft-referenced gatekeepers of the ESP-Disk’ aesthetic—you can read more about them in our feature story on the label. But ESP released more than 100 remarkable albums during its first run, with dozens more coming since its 21st-century resurrection. Here are just a few that should be heard, all of which are available either through ESP’s website or its Bandcamp page.
ESP’s back-cover blurb calls Allen “the spiritual descendant of Charlie Parker.” Yet titles like “Decision for the Cole-Man” reveal that the alto saxophonist was closer to Ornette in his writing, with a tone that had a bit more brawn to it. One of the most enigmatic ESP artists, Allen only released one other album, in 1979.Learn more at Amazon!