Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

176

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Brotherman to the Fatherland

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count
Of all the people trying to put jazz on the pop charts in the anything-goes period of the late '60s and early '70s—all the way up to Albert Ayler, for the love of Pete—probably the most successful at bridging the gap without watering it down was Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Long before the Steven Bernsteins and JA Granellis of the world were inflecting pop covers with jazz energy (and ignoring the instrumental and lethargic pop renditions of his contemporaries), Kirk was making exciting, full-throttle versions of some great—and unlikely—radio hits of the day.

That's far from the only notable thing about Kirk, who freely borrowed from any number of styles to create his own branding of black music. But as Joel Dorn—Kirk's producer during his years at Atlantic, where he recorded his best albums—continues to dig up unreleased live tapes, that is what stands out. Kirk died almost thirty years ago at the age of 41, and we're fortunate to have a healthy stock of his work available, with no small debt of gratitude to Dorn. But as the titles continue to come, there needs to be something to sell them. And finding something that measures up to the 21-minute "Saxophone Concerto on Prepare Thyself to Deal With a Miracle (Atlantic, 1973) would itself be miraculous.

The supporting band on Brotherman (pianist Ron Burton, bassist Henry Peter Pearson and percussionists Richie Goldberg and Joe "Habao Texidor) is solid, if not his strongest. There are moments of pure Rahsaan idiosyncrasy, as on "Seasons/Serenade to a Cuckoo, and powerful extended playing on "Pedal Up.

But that ain't where the party's at. What was going on in the Fatherland was like this: Opening with Coltrane's "Like Sonny and plowing straight into Bread's "Make It With You, a seven-minute bop excursion ("Rahsaan's Spirit ) and Smokey Robinson's "My Girl, the band hits two more Kirk comps and then a slightly forced "Lush Life, a rolling version of Mongo Santamaria's largely Trane-identified "Afro Blue, and a powerful closing take of Coltrane's "Blue Trane. Essential? I dunno. But it's a joy. Being in possession of a time machine would be the best, and perhaps the only reason for not checking this recording out.


Track Listing: Intro/Like Sonny; Make It With You; Rahsaan' Spirit; My Girl; Seasons / Serenade to a Cuckoo; Pedal Up; Lush Life; Afro Blue; BLue Trane.

Personnel: Ron Burton: piano; Henry Peter Pearson "Merrathias": bass; Richie Goldberg: drums; Joe "Havao" Texidor: percussion.

Title: Brotherman to the Fatherland | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Hyena Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "On A Monday Evening" CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Live 1972" CD/LP/Track Review Live 1972
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "Confidences" CD/LP/Track Review Confidences
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Asteroidea" CD/LP/Track Review Asteroidea
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 9, 2017
Read "Aerial" CD/LP/Track Review Aerial
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Groove Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor