RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK

Hard Bop / Avant-Garde Jazz / Soul Jazz / Post Bop / Vocal Jazz • United States
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Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1936-1977) was a blind American jazz saxophonist, perhaps best known for his ability to play more than one saxophone at once.

Kirk was born Ronald Kirk on 7th August 1936, in Columbus, Ohio, but felt compelled by a dream to transpose two letters in his first name to make Roland. After another dream in about 1970 he added Rahsaan to his name.

His playing was generally rooted in soul jazz or hard bop, but Kirk's encyclopedic knowledge of jazz history allowed him to draw convincingly on any element of the music's history, from ragtime to swing and free jazz. Kirk also regularly explored classical and pop music.

Kirk played and collected a vast number of musical instruments, mainly various saxophones, clarinets, and flutes. His main instruments were tenor saxophone, and two obscure saxophones: the manzello (similar to a soprano sax) and the stritch (a straight alto
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I Talk With the SpiritsI Talk With the Spirits
Remastered
Polygram Records 1998
$18.61
$21.18 (used)
Bright MomentsBright Moments
Rhino Atlantic 2011
$19.98
$15.76 (used)
Original Album SeriesOriginal Album Series
Rhino/Gc 2015
$11.72
$14.50 (used)
Rahsaan: Complete Mercury RecordingsRahsaan: Complete Mercury Recordings
Box set
Polygram Records 1991
$119.88 (used)
I Eye AyeI Eye Aye
Rhino/Wea UK 2008
$15.99 (used)
We Free Kings / Triple ThreatWe Free Kings / Triple Threat
Remastered
Essential Jazz Class 2012
$7.49
$4.41 (used)
Inflated Tear/Natural Black InventionsInflated Tear/Natural Black Inventions
Collectables 2004
$6.56
$9.82 (used)
Rip, Rig & Panic/Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful EdithRip, Rig & Panic/Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith
EmArcy 1990
$5.48
$4.99 (used)
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RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Discography

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK albums / top albums

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Triple Threat (aka Third Dimension aka Early Roots / The Bethlehem Years) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Triple Threat (aka Third Dimension aka Early Roots / The Bethlehem Years)
Hard Bop 1957
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Introducing Roland Kirk (aka The First And Foremost Album aka Soul Station aka Roland Kirk) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Introducing Roland Kirk (aka The First And Foremost Album aka Soul Station aka Roland Kirk)
Hard Bop 1960
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Kirk's Work (feat. Jack McDuff) (aka Funk Underneath) album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Kirk's Work (feat. Jack McDuff) (aka Funk Underneath)
Hard Bop 1961
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Domino album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Domino
Hard Bop 1962
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK We Free Kings (aka You Did It, You Did It) album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
We Free Kings (aka You Did It, You Did It)
Hard Bop 1962
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK The Roland Kirk Quartet Meets the Benny Golson Orchestra album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Roland Kirk Quartet Meets the Benny Golson Orchestra
Hard Bop 1963
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Reeds and Deeds album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Reeds and Deeds
Hard Bop 1963
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Gifts and Messages album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Gifts and Messages
Hard Bop 1964
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Rip, Rig and Panic album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Rip, Rig and Panic
Hard Bop 1965
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK I Talk With The Spirits album cover 3.90 | 5 ratings
I Talk With The Spirits
Hard Bop 1965
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Slightly Latin album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Slightly Latin
Hard Bop 1966
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith
Hard Bop 1967
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK The Inflated Tear album cover 4.38 | 7 ratings
The Inflated Tear
Hard Bop 1968
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Left & Right album cover 3.62 | 4 ratings
Left & Right
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Volunteered Slavery album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Volunteered Slavery
Hard Bop 1969
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Blacknuss album cover 3.91 | 4 ratings
Blacknuss
Soul Jazz 1972
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK A Meeting Of The Times (with Al Hibbler) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Meeting Of The Times (with Al Hibbler)
Vocal Jazz 1972
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Prepare Thyself to Deal With a Miracle album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Prepare Thyself to Deal With a Miracle
Avant-Garde Jazz 1973
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color album cover 3.62 | 4 ratings
The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color
Soul Jazz 1975
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK The Return of the 5000lb. Man album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
The Return of the 5000lb. Man
Avant-Garde Jazz 1976
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Other Folks Music album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Other Folks Music
Avant-Garde Jazz 1976
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Kirkatron album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kirkatron
Soul Jazz 1977
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Boogie Woogie String Along for Real album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Boogie Woogie String Along for Real
Hard Bop 1978

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK EPs & splits

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK live albums

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Kirk In Copenhagen album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kirk In Copenhagen
Hard Bop 1964
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Here Comes the Whistleman album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Here Comes the Whistleman
Hard Bop 1967
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Rahsaan Rahsaan album cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
Rahsaan Rahsaan
Avant-Garde Jazz 1970
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Bright Moments album cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
Bright Moments
Avant-Garde Jazz 1973
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Live in Paris, 1970, Vol. 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Paris, 1970, Vol. 1
Avant-Garde Jazz 1988
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Live in Paris, 1970, Vol. 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Paris, 1970, Vol. 2
Avant-Garde Jazz 1988
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK The Man Who Cried Fire album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Man Who Cried Fire
Hard Bop 1991
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Roller Coaster album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roller Coaster
Avant-Garde Jazz 1992
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Three for the Festival album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Three for the Festival
Avant-Garde Jazz 1993
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK (I, Eye, Aye) - Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland 1972 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
(I, Eye, Aye) - Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland 1972
Post Bop 1996
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Gifts And Messages album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gifts And Messages
Hard Bop 1996
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Compliments Of The Mysterious Phantom album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Compliments Of The Mysterious Phantom
Post Bop 2003
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Live in London album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in London
Avant-Garde Jazz 2004
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Brotherman In The Fatherland album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Brotherman In The Fatherland
Post Bop 2006

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK re-issues & compilations

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Roland Kirk album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roland Kirk
Avant-Garde Jazz 1970
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK The Best of Rahsaan Roland Kirk album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Pre-Rahsaan album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pre-Rahsaan
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK The Vibration Continues: A Retrospective of the Years 1968-1976 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Vibration Continues: A Retrospective of the Years 1968-1976
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Roland Kirk / Booker Ervin : Soulful Saxes album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roland Kirk / Booker Ervin : Soulful Saxes
Hard Bop 1989
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Rip, Rig and Panic / Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith album cover 4.05 | 2 ratings
Rip, Rig and Panic / Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK 0.00 | 0 ratings
"Rahsaan": The Complete Mercury Recordings
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Does Your House Have Lions: The Rahsaan Roland Kirk Anthology album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Does Your House Have Lions: The Rahsaan Roland Kirk Anthology
Avant-Garde Jazz 1993
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Verve Jazz Masters 27 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Verve Jazz Masters 27
Avant-Garde Jazz 1994
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Sweet Fire album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sweet Fire
Avant-Garde Jazz 1994
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Simmer, Reduce, Garnish, & Serve album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Simmer, Reduce, Garnish, & Serve
Avant-Garde Jazz 1995
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Talkin Verve: Roots of Acid Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Talkin Verve: Roots of Acid Jazz
Avant-Garde Jazz 1996
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Dog Years in the Fourth Ring album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dog Years in the Fourth Ring
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK A Standing Eight album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Standing Eight
Avant-Garde Jazz 1998
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Aces Back To Back album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Aces Back To Back
Avant-Garde Jazz 1998
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Separate but Equal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Separate but Equal
Avant-Garde Jazz 1999
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Left Hook, Right Cross album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Left Hook, Right Cross
Avant-Garde Jazz 1999
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Rahsaan Roland Kirk [Warner Jazz: Les Incontournables] album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rahsaan Roland Kirk [Warner Jazz: Les Incontournables]
Avant-Garde Jazz 2000
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Roland Kirk's Finest Hour album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roland Kirk's Finest Hour
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK The Inflated Tear-Natural Black Inventions: Roots Strata album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Inflated Tear-Natural Black Inventions: Roots Strata
Avant-Garde Jazz 2004
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Limbo Boat album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Limbo Boat
Avant-Garde Jazz 2005
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Third Dimension & Beyond album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Third Dimension & Beyond
Hard Bop 2005
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Introducing Rahsaan Roland Kirk album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Introducing Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK We Free Kings / Triple Threat album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
We Free Kings / Triple Threat
Hard Bop 2012
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Spirits Up Above - The Atlantic Years 1965-1976 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Spirits Up Above - The Atlantic Years 1965-1976
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK singles (0)

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
"The One Man Twins" (Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival 1972)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1996
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
In Europe 1962-1967 with Tete Montoliu
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in '63 & '67
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Case of the Three Sided Dream
Avant-Garde Jazz 2016

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Reviews

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Blacknuss

Album · 1972 · Soul Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
You can never really know what to expect from a Rahsaan Roland Kirk record, he was never one to be bound by style or genre, instead, he approached any style he wanted with his trademark enthusiastic energy and off-the-wall creativity. So it comes to pass in 1972 that Kirk hits us with this rather wild collection of soul jazz tunes, plus a few expected unexpected oddities, called “Blacknuss”. In the early 70s, much of the soul jazz world had morphed into a groove-heavy style of psychedelic fusion, and “Blacknuss” fits in well with all of that. This is groove based music, but as you would expect from Kirk, this is not a particularly laid back album, instead, many tracks are often exploding with near chaotic energy.

Most of the tunes on here are well known RnB/pop numbers, but you have never heard them played like this before. Along with all the covers, there are also a couple of Kirk originals; “Which way is it Going” is a high speed country romp with frantic flute playing and some yelling too, and title cut “Blacknuss” is African fusion, once again hitting a high speed tempo. Kirk has some great support musicians on here, with honorable mention going to organist Mickey Tucker and his old school full-stops-out organ sound that puts cuts like “I Love You Yes I Do” and “Old Rugged Cross” right over the top. Next time you’re throwing a party, forget about that fluffy little acid jazz record and put this on instead, “Blacknuss” would make a great soundtrack to a party about to teeter out of control.

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK The Inflated Tear

Album · 1968 · Hard Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Rahsan Roland Kirk and his music exist in a universe all their own, sure he may use some of the same tonalities and rhythms as fellow jazz and RnB musicians, and he can take things off the deep end at will much like his fellows in the avant-garde, but no one else sounds like Kirk. There is an unpretentious directness to Roland’s music, a raw street level vibe that connects to the earliest days of New Orleans. You get the feeling that if Roland had not had a recording contract, he would have been out on some street corner playing the same music. “The Inflated Tear” is a great record, but don’t expect a lot of fireworks, by Kirk standards “Tear” is fairly laid back, but its not the least bit commercial, nor does Kirk hold back on his trademark personality and creativity.

Despite the uniqueness of Kirk’s music, some parallels to other artists can be drawn. His sometimes blunt approach can recall Sun Ra and Monk, his loose sound and massive tone on the tenor may remind some of John Gilmore and his ability to mix many eras of jazz into one musical approach recalls Mingus and Elllington. All of that is here on “Inflated Tear”, but this album is also a bit mellowed with a laid back 60s beatnik vibe, somewhere along the lines of early Herbie Mann and Eddie Harris.

The album opens with “The Black and Crazy Blues”, a New Orleans dirge with modern elements which is followed by “A Laugh for Rory”, a fun upbeat cool jazz number on the flute(s). Some consider Kirk’s ability to play more than one instrument at a time to be a gimmick, but on “Rory”, and elsewhere on this album, he shows that his ability to harmonize the melody with simultaneous nose flute and concert flute is far more than a gimmick and adds some very interesting unique dimensions to his arrangements. The following tune, “Many Blessings”, contains some explosive tenor work and side one closes with the pretty flute ballad, “Fingers in the Wind”.

Side two opens with the album’s title track. This piece is more like a musical/theatrical re-telling of how a nurse accidentally blinded Kirk for life at the age of two. This one is quite different from the rest of the album and features primitive sounds on three horns at once. Despite the heavy subject matter, this is hardly indulgent and adds to that singularity that is Rahsaan. After this opening, Duke‘s “The Creole Love Call” follows and Kirk’s ability to harmonize on two horns works to good advantage as he uses Ellington’s transparent framework to include sounds of centuries past as well as the future. This one also features another strong, but short ride on the tenor. The album closes out with three bluesy hard bop numbers that show Kirk and his band working with short concise forms, no cliche gratuitous solos, everything compact and to the point with just enough solo to fit the tune. The closer, Lovellevelliloqui", has one of Kirk's best and quirkiest tenor solos on the album.

This is a great album, maybe not as far out as some of Kirk’s records, but possibly that makes this one a good first buy for somebody wanting to check out his music.

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