Ronald Shannon Jackson playing with Albert Ayler on the Live at Slug's Saloon album, recorded in 1966. Jackson wasn't recorded a lot at this stage of his career, and it's really interesting to hear him do the same relentless rolling thing we heard him do on a giant Sonor set in the 80s. Clearly he's more technically able than some other avant-garde drummers of the period— people who may have been going for an emotional intensity that was beyond their capabilities. Jackson also has a stronger sense of pulse than most of them— it's like listening to a mediocre bass player with weak harmonic sense play this music (another common situation), and then listening to Gary Peacock play it. It's like oh, this guy is playing off a pulse. He's a real drummer.
Jackson plays with real power, and he's obviously a strong listener. It reminds me a lot of Jack Dejohnette playing avant-garde. There's just a different quality when a real technically and musically able drummer does this kind of thing. There's more energy and more evident creativity happening; more melodic awareness.
He is awesome playing with Cecil Taylor a dozen years later, too. Cecil can be kind of punishing to me; Jackson humanizes him.