No idea what “Omega” is about. Something far reaching and dealing in the interstellar spaceways, no doubt. But whatever the answer is, the fact that Albert Ayler took the time to record the song so many times, in so many different situations is really astounding. It’s a short composition given over to a marching band feel. But in Ayler’s ample hands, the composition spins into a weird pinwheel of festive performances. Some might figure the song to be a joke. But Ayler and his ensemble are usually able to insert some freedom into what would otherwise be a staid, if not cartoonish composition.
Rarities (1964-1970) includes live works from a wealth of different performances and seems to include Ayler approaching jazz in any way he was able to imagine. There’s even an unknown tune tacked onto the disc. Its fidelity is shaky, at best. But the band’s hot and Ayler doesn’t disappoint.