A veteran of the original liberation music scene, Charles Gayle spent twenty years playing for spare change in the streets and subways of New York. Despite a reasonably successful European tour in the early 80′s, it wasn’t until 1988, when Gayle recorded the first of three albums for the Swedish Silkheart label, that he was recognized as a truly original voice of the avant garde. An unrepentant, out-blowing, in-your-face master of the free jazz style, Gayle attracted the attention of post-punk artists Henry Rollins and Thurston Moore who began showing up regularly at his gigs at the Knitting Factory and introduced him to alternative rock audiences who packed the house when he played.
Though often compared with such free-form jazz greats as John Coltrane and Albert Ayler, the largely self-taught Gayle maintains a uniquely original style that is all his own. “Nothing is set,” says Gayle. “I just go for the spirit, the Holy Ghost, and push beyond ego consciousness to blow my guts out.”
Gayle’s recordings include Homeless (Silkheart); Spirits Before (Silkheart); Always Born (Silkheart); Touchin’ On Trane (FMP); Repent (Knitting Factory); More Live (Knitting Factory); Consecration (Black Saint); Kingdom Come (Knitting Factory, ); and Testaments (Knitting Factory).