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MUSICIAN Born:

Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Kirk was born Ronald Theodore Kirk in Columbus, Ohio, but felt compelled by a dream to transpose two letters in his first name to make Roland. In 1970, Kirk added "Rahsaan" to his name. Preferring to lead his own groups, Kirk rarely performed as a sideman, though he did record with arranger Quincy Jones, Roy Haynes and had especially notable stints with Charles Mingus. He played the lead flute and solo on Jones' Soul Bossa Nova, a song popularized in the Austin Powers films (Jones 1964; McLeod et al. 1997). 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

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection

Read "Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

It is difficult to describe the impact of pianist and composer Matthew Shipp without descending into hyperbole. A core figure in the now-legendary David S. Ware Quartet, a bandleader with a staggering recording output, a groundbreaking curator for the influential Blues Series of Thirsty Ear Records, Matthew Shipp has also more recently broken new ...

Trout Mask Replica

Read "Trout Mask Replica" reviewed by Eric Gudas

“No Instruction Sheet": Trout Mask Replica's Unfathomable Origin Story If you were a teenager who liked freaky stuff, on a June day in 1969 you could bicycle down to your local record store and buy a brand-new, shrink- wrapped album with a man covering his entire face with an actual fish head on the cover. A ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Saxattack & More

Read "Saxattack & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Well, not every track is saxed, but we've got some heavyweights here: Johnny Griffin, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Sonny Rollins, Branford Marsalis, Charlie Parker, Benny Carter, and Sidney Bechet. Breathers from pianists Brad Mehldau, Kris Davis and Bill Evans; as well as the Uptown Jazz Orchestra from New Orleans; trumpeters Roy Eldridge, Fats Navarro, Miles Davis; and ...

Strata-East: Seizing the Time

Read "Strata-East: Seizing the Time" reviewed by Chris May

Operating on minimum finance and maximum passion, Brooklyn's Strata-East label was a pivotal platform for the spiritual-jazz movement that emerged during the Civil Rights struggle of the 1970s. Its closest contemporary comparator was Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Both were non-profit organisations. The AACM was non-profit by design. With Strata-East, co-founder Charles Tolliver ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Videos: Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Videos: Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was one of the purest and most fascinating jazz artists and composers of the post-war period. Blind from birth, he was a soulful and experimental and romantic multi-instrumentalist who defied his own physical limitations to become the very essence of jazz in all its free but gifted glory. Here are five clips of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

John Bailey: Can You Imagine?

Read "Can You Imagine?" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The world loves a good “what if..." story, so why not explore the idea of Dizzy Gillespie as president? The famed trumpeter actually ran for the highest office in the land in 1964. And though the move was largely in jest, he didn't shy away from the issues of the day while campaigning. Sadly, many of ...

ARTICLE: 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 ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Ravi Coltrane Quartet at the New Hazlett Theater

Read "Ravi Coltrane Quartet at the New Hazlett Theater" reviewed by Mackenzie Horne

Ravi Coltrane Quartet New Hazlett Theater Pittsburgh, PA October 5, 2019 Since 2007, the Kente Arts Alliance (KAA) has worked diligently to underscore the relationship between the arts and community by providing accessible cultural programming within the city of Pittsburgh. KAA has hosted a number of elder jazz statesmen, including Hugh ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Burton Greene / Damon Smith / Ra Kalam Bob Moses: Life’s Intense Mystery

Read "Life’s Intense Mystery" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Let's give credit to whomever assembled this swinging free-improvisation trio. Sometimes, no, invariably, all great improvised music results from the reciprocal nature of the musicians: not something done in response to another (although it can be) but by some subconscious agreement made by the players. A fine example is Life's Intense Mystery by the trio of ...


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