Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Brotherman in the Fatherland (Hyena/Southbound

 |   |  <1 min read

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: I Want To Make It With You
Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Brotherman in the Fatherland (Hyena/Southbound

Kirk, who died almost 30 years ago, was one of those musicians who divided jazz critics: some thought he was a showman-cum-charlatan (he could play three saxophones simultaneously) and others thought he was something close to a genius.

I head cautiously more toward the latter, although he did often seem to be pulling tricks of a bag to impress rather than to enlighten.

Certainly though a number of his albums -- We Free Kings, The Inflated Tear and Volunteered Slavery -- are in most serious jazz collections.

Since his death many live concerts have been released in an on-going series and this from Germany in 72 -- with hilarious liner notes by Joel Dorn -- is as challenging, beautiful, lazy and confrontational as any of them.

Kirk here essays tunes by Coltrane, Smokey Robinson's My Girl, the standard Lush Life, and the kitschy ballad I Want To Make It With You. All in his own way, of course, as he reached from free jazz through classic soul to pop.

No wonder some hardcore jazz critics hated him.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

MURRAY McNABB'S ASTRAL SURFERS ALBUM (2009): Keyboardist . . . to the stars

MURRAY McNABB'S ASTRAL SURFERS ALBUM (2009): Keyboardist . . . to the stars

Long experience and years of disappointment have taught me that very few among this country’s more established jazz musicians listen to much beyond their own doorstep or record collection.... > Read more

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK (1936-77): Just a wild'n'crazy guy?

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK (1936-77): Just a wild'n'crazy guy?

Nobody talks about Rahsaan Roland Kirk much anymore. Maybe it’s because his recording career was too erratic, maybe because this sometimes fright-inducing multi-instrumentalist (literally, he... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Tom Petty: Village scribe, meet the village idiot

Tom Petty: Village scribe, meet the village idiot

For more years than I can recall when people have asked me what I did I have variously answered “I‘m a writer“ or, when Customs officials look difficult I would say... > Read more

DON GIOVANNI REVIEWED (2014): When opera goes clubbing

DON GIOVANNI REVIEWED (2014): When opera goes clubbing

It was Mae West who said, “Keep a diary and perhaps some day it will keep you”. This presumes you've had an interesting life, but former Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman... > Read more