The Cricket: Black Music in Evolution!!! (issue 4, 1969)

A scan of the complete 4th issue of Amiri Baraka (then LeRoi Jones/Imamu Ameer Baraka), Larry Neal & A.B. Spellman’s “The Cricket,” published in “New Ark” New Jersey in 1969. The Cricket always makes for fascinating reading, especially for anyone interested in the Black Arts movement, Sun Ra, astro-black ancient futurism, or just completely alternate modes of art and music criticism. But this issue is particularly notable because it contains Albert Ayler’s letter “To Mr. Jones – I had a Vision” describing an apocalyptically intense UFO sighting/religious revelation Ayler and his brother had one night in New Jersey: “It was at night that I had this vision,” he writes, “In this vision there was a large object flying around with bright colors in disc form. I immediately thought of the flying scorpion that I had read about in the chapter of Revelation from the Holy Bible, but when the object started turning I saw that first it was flat then it turned sideways and started to shoot radiant colors … I was running with my brother when it aimed at us but it didn’t touch us at all. I guess this is what they are calling the flying saucers. Anyway it was revealed to me that we had the right seal of God almighty in our forehead.”

A year later Ayler was gone, his body washed up in the East River and a probable suicide.