Thursday, January 17, 2008

Roland Kirk - 1959 Lover Man and Down Beat 1975

"In a little restaurant in Amersfoort, Holland, Roland Kirk was recorded with the Swiss trio of pianist George Gruntz in 1959 by the KRO broadcasting company
Roland Kirk ( 1936-1977)

Preferring to lead his own groups, Roland Kirk rarely performed as a sideman, though he did record with arranger Quincy Jones, Roy Haynes and had especially notable stints with Charles Mingus. His playing was generally rooted in soul jazz or hard bop, but Kirk's knowledge of jazz history allowed him to draw on many elements of the music's history, from ragtime to swing and free jazz. Kirk also regularly explored classical and pop music. Kirk played and collected a number of musical instruments, mainly various saxophones, clarinets and flutes. His main instruments were a tenor saxophone and two obscure saxophones: the manzello (similar to a soprano sax) and the stritch (a straight alto sax lacking the instrument's characteristic upturned bell). Kirk modified these instruments himself to accommodate his simultaneous playing technique. He typically appeared on stage with all three horns hanging around his neck, as well as a variety of other instruments, including flutes and whistles, and often kept a gong within reach. Kirk also played harmonica, english horn, recorders and was a competent trumpeter. He often had unique approaches, using a saxophone mouthpiece on a trumpet or playing nose flute. He additionally used many extramusical sounds in his art, such as alarm clocks, whistles, sirens Kirk was also an influential flautist, employing several techniques that he developed himself. One technique was to sing or hum into the flute at the same time as playing. Another was to play the standard transverse flute at the same time as a nose flute. Some observers thought that Kirk's bizarre onstage appearance and simultaneous multi-instrumentalism were just gimmicks, especially when coming from a blind man, but these opinions usually vanished when Kirk actually started playing. He used the multiple horns to play true chords, essentially functioning as a one-man saxophone section. Kirk insisted that he was only trying to emulate the sounds he heard in his mind. Kirk was also a major exponent and practitioner of circular breathing. Using this technique, Kirk was not only able to sustain a single note for virtually any length of time; he could also play sixteenth-note runs of almost unlimited length, and at high speeds." ~ ilbofilms

Down Beat 1975 poll-winners' show: 'Pedal Up'

"From the 'Down Beat' 1975 poll-winners' show, a performance of Rahsaan Roland Kirk's 'Pedal Up'.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - horns
McCoy Tyner - piano
Stanley Clarke - bass
Lenny White - drums

The performance is introduced by Quincy Jones." ~ Davelovesjazz

also from youtube user Davelovesjazz

Down Beat 1975 poll-winners' show: 'Work Song'

"From the 1975 'Down Beat' poll-winners' show, here's a performance of 'Work Song, dedicated to the great Cannonball Adderley, who passed away that year.

On stage:
Sonny Rollins - tenor saxophone
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - tenor saxophone
Freddie Hubbard - trumpet
Bill Watrous - trombone
Hubert Laws - flute
McCoy Tyner - piano
George Benson - guitar
Stanley Clarke - bass
Lenny White - drums
Airto Moreira - percussion