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Album Review

Shortly after Rahsaan Roland Kirk finished his first album for Warner Brothers, he suffered a major stroke that put him out of action and greatly shortened his life. His second LP for the label was actually comprised of leftovers from the earlier session plus three songs taken from an appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival; the latter has been reissued on CD in a sampler but the other selections (which include "Serenade to a Cuckoo," his cover of "This Masquerade," "Sugar," "The Christmas Song" and "Bright Moments") remain out of print. This LP (which finds him mostly sticking to tenor), Kirk's next-to-last album, has enough highlights to make it worth searching for.

Biography

Born: 07 August 1935 in Columbus, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

Arguably the most exciting saxophone soloist in jazz history, Kirk was a post-modernist before that term even existed. Kirk played the continuum of jazz tradition as an instrument unto itself; he felt little compunction about mixing and matching elements from the music's history, and his concoctions usually seemed natural, if not inevitable. When discussing Kirk, a great deal of attention is always paid to his eccentricities — playing several horns at once, making his own instruments, clowning...
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