170

Roland Kirk: Domino

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
When Roland Kirk (pre-Rahsaan) issued Domino in 1962, the album contained 10 tracks, which amounted to just over half an hour of music. On this reissue there are 25 tracks and nearly 80 minutes of music. What’s more, the 15 bonus tracks feature a 22-year-old Herbie Hancock, who did not appear on the original Domino at all. (Getting left on the cutting-room floor must not have thrilled the young pianist.) Bassist Vernon Martin is featured throughout all the sessions. Six of the original 10 tracks feature Andrew Hill on piano and Henry Duncan on drums, both of whom are replaced on the remaing four by Wynton Kelly and Roy Haynes, respectively. Haynes stays on for the tracks that feature Hancock. (No other Hancock/Haynes collaborations come to mind.) So in addition to what this reissue says about Kirk’s enormous talents, it is also of historical interest for its stellar cast of supporting players.

Kirk’s arsenal includes two unusual instruments, the manzello (sort of like a soprano sax) and the stritch (like a mellow alto), in addition to tenor, flute, and the occasional siren whistle, usually to introduce a piano solo. His simultaneous two- and three-horn work led some to dismiss him as a gimmick player, which was absurd, for what’s astonishing about the technique is its sheer musicality in Kirk’s hands. Need to ratchet up the intensity over a pedal point or during a solo? Add another horn or two and you’ve got an instant one-man shout chorus. (Check out his faster-than-usual reading of J.J. Johnson’s "Lament" for a good example of this.) And mind you, this is not mere noisemaking — his note choices, whether unisons or two- and three-part harmonies, make perfect sense.

Indeed, for a musician often thought of as incurably odd and left-of-center, Kirk’s rootedness in tradition couldn’t be clearer on Domino. On tenor he sounds not unlike Sonny Rollins; his flute work surely influenced Thomas Chapin. On the fast minor blues "Rolando" he plays a stritch solo full of exemplary post-bop lines. "E.D.," the last of the original 10 tracks, is a furiously fast reworking of "Tea for Two." At least at this stage, Kirk’s playing was far more inside than Ornette Coleman’s, for instance.

Perhaps this reissue will prompt a reappraisal of Kirk’s importance. As someone who took the tradition seriously and yet created something entirely new from it, he has a great deal to say to today’s like-minded younger generation of players.


Track Listing: 1. Domino 2. Meeting on Termini

Personnel: Roland Kirk, tenor saxophone, manzello, stritch, flute, nose flute, siren whistle; Vernon Martin, bass; Andrew Hill, piano (tracks 1-6, celeste on track 3); Wynton Kelly, piano (tracks 7-10); Herbie Hancock, piano (tracks 11-25); Henry Duncan, drums (tracks 1-6); Roy Haynes, drums (tracks 7-25)

| Record Label: Verve Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Emily’s D+Evolution" CD/LP/Track Review Emily’s D+Evolution
by Mark F. Turner
Published: April 12, 2016
Read "Live At Edgefest" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Edgefest
by John Sharpe
Published: April 28, 2016
Read "The Blue Shroud" CD/LP/Track Review The Blue Shroud
by John Sharpe
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "Musings" CD/LP/Track Review Musings
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "Red Rocks 7/8/78" CD/LP/Track Review Red Rocks 7/8/78
by Doug Collette
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "Sinking Houseboat Confusion" CD/LP/Track Review Sinking Houseboat Confusion
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!