RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK — Blacknuss (review)

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK — Blacknuss album cover Album · 1972 · Soul Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
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.
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