Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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Building a Jazz Library

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Guaranteed To Bend Your Head

Read "Rahsaan Roland Kirk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Guaranteed To Bend Your Head" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz musicians are rarely called shamanistic but the description fits Rahsaan Roland Kirk precisely. Clad in black leather trousers and heavy duty shades (he was blind from the age of two), a truckload of strange looking horns strung round his neck—two or three of which he often played simultaneously--twisting, shaking and otherwise contorting his body, stamping his feet, exhorting audience members to feel the spirit and make some noise and handing out bags of penny whistles to help them do ...

7

Radio

The Authenticity of Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1961 - 1972)

Read "The Authenticity of Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1961 - 1972)" reviewed by Russell Perry


Roland Kirk, who began recording in 1956, had been an ideal sideman for Charles Mingus, appearing on the 1961 release Oh Yeah. In the 1960s, he established himself in the first tier of jazz players with a series of well-received records for Mercury and Limelight before settling into a decade-long relationship with Atlantic. “A stellar soloist, he could play with authenticity and forcefulness in any jazz style, from trad to free, and on a host of instruments—not just ...

3

Radio

(Not So) Standards

Read "(Not So) Standards" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


For decades jazz standards have provided improvisers with both a vehicle and a testing ground for their creativity. In some cases they have taken more liberties than others. This week we focus on not-so-standard renditions of jazz standards, from “Take Five" to “My Favorite Things," from “Mood Indigo" to “'Round Midnight," two hours of jazz played with boundless creativity (and a good dose of humor!). Happy listening! Playlist Farmers Market “Take Five -Take 11" from ...

7

Profile

Roland Kirk: Here Comes The Whistleman

Read "Roland Kirk: Here Comes The Whistleman" reviewed by Duncan Heining


This December, it will be thirty-nine years since Rahsaan Roland Kirk split the scene for good. He was forty-one and about two-thirds of that short life span had been spent as a professional musician. He might not have been around long but he left behind a powerful legacy that may have no parallel in jazz or any other modern music. He might not have courted controversy but somehow it kept finding him. For some critics and musicians, he ...

8

Film Review

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: The Case of the Three Sided Dream

Read "Rahsaan Roland Kirk: The Case of the Three Sided Dream" reviewed by William Levine


Rahsaan Roland Kirk The Case of the Three Sided Dream Monoduo Films 2016 Rahsaan Roland Kirk as the natural successor to Bird and Coltrane? It's certainly a debatable point, and it might overlook the place of Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman in the evolution of saxophone playing during the first post-bop generations, but The Case of the Three Sided Dream, a documentary directed by Adam Kahan, makes a tenable case for reassessing the multi-reed ...

14

The Vinyl Post

Roland Kirk: The Limelight/Verve Albums

Read "Roland Kirk: The Limelight/Verve Albums" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


Several years ago when this writer was looking for rarities to include in the column Jazz From the Vinyl Junkyard, the chances for the medium to make a huge comeback seemed to be slim at best. Fast forward and it seems that vinyl is the new black, with efforts to market it to a fresh and younger audience. The availability of simple to operate and affordable turntables aids the process. And until just recently, Stereophile magazine had an entire column, ...

8

Extended Analysis

Roland Kirk: Four Classic Albums

Read "Roland Kirk: Four Classic Albums" reviewed by David Rickert


Roland Kirk was arguably the most exciting soloist the jazz world has ever seen. Blind since childhood, Kirk developed a unique sensitivity to sound that he parlayed into all sorts of interesting ideas, most notably the ability to play two or three instruments simultaneously. For a while the vaudeville nature of this trick overshadowed his prodigious talents as a soloist. He was capable of great tenderness as well as bursts of aggressive lines and knew how to construct a solo ...


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