KIRK Roland 1962

The expanding musical universe of Rahsaan Roland Kirk continues its orbit on Domino. While always true to his exceptional talents, Kirk's previous efforts are somewhat derivative when compared to his later and more aggressive sound. On Domino, the genesis of his more assertive presence is thoroughly evident. Additionally, this disc features several impressive originals, as well as the most distinctly branded cover tunes to date, including the intense bop of the title track. As evidenced throughout the album, Kirk's compositions are becoming denser and more involved. "Meeting on Termini's Corner" -an ode to the legendary Five Spot club- mimics the off-kilter rhythms of Thelonious Monk. The tenor sax solo that rises through his multi-instrumentation is stunning. The contrast between the lilting flute work, which bookends "Domino" and the stirring tenor sax solo at the center is yet again indicative of the boundaries Kirk would be approaching. However, it's the Latin-tinged "Rolando" that might best display the unmistakably singular sound that comes from the stritch -a Kirk modified second generation B flat soprano sax- and the tenor sax, when performed simultaneously. The warmth and clarity are at once unique and hypnotic. Another prime example of the multiplicity in Kirk's performance styles can be heard on "I Believe in You". The juxtaposition of the husky tenor with the spry manzello provides a false sense of balance as Kirk delays combining the two until the final chorus. This produces a surprising and memorable effect, as Kirk's arrangement does not anticipate the finale.


Roland KIRK horns, Wynton KELLY p, Vernon MARTIN b, Roy HAYNES dr,

To be continued...


moxnix said...

i have this cd and listen to it at work. people comment on it all the time. it is amazing that no one has commented here, dan. has no one listened to this. people, where are you, this is as good as it gets with roland kirk,just listen!!!

josh said...

There's a humor in his playing that brings a smile to my face. funny, whimsical, punchlines. Talking through the horn while playing, he does it oh so well. There's a mandolin player at the hospital I work out who occasionally strolls the wards, strumming a few notes here and there in the wee hours to rest weary, worried, painful bodies, minds, and spirits. He's good, but I'm imagining the effect of Kirk's horn in place of his mandolin. Just a thought on this late March evening in the North country.