10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s first album for Mercury opened one of the most glorious chapters in the reedman’s celebrated career. The cover features a lush color photo of Kirk with multiple horns draped around his neck, and his unison playing is displayed right out the gate on “Three For the Festival.” The song is a tour-de-force, as Kirk blows the chorus on multiple horns and takes a terrific solo turn on flute. The full-bodied flute playing highlights Kirk’s essence: breath is the life-force of all humans, and Kirk used it to its fullest potential. His solos on “Blues For Alice” and “A Sack Full of Soul” are agile and gutsy, two qualities that are rarely married in one saxophonist. More crucially, Kirk has a way of pushing his soul through the horn and into the consciousness of the listener. Most horn players might rattle the leaves — Kirk shakes the whole tree. His dual sense of playfulness and passion comes alive on the title track, a reworking of the 19th century Christmas carol — a bold reinvention undoubtedly inspired by John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things,” released just a few months before the recording of this album. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s first album for Mercury opened one of the most glorious chapters in the reedman’s celebrated career. The cover features a lush color photo of Kirk with multiple horns draped around his neck, and his unison playing is displayed right out the gate on “Three For the Festival.” The song is a tour-de-force, as Kirk blows the chorus on multiple horns and takes a terrific solo turn on flute. The full-bodied flute playing highlights Kirk’s essence: breath is the life-force of all humans, and Kirk used it to its fullest potential. His solos on “Blues For Alice” and “A Sack Full of Soul” are agile and gutsy, two qualities that are rarely married in one saxophonist. More crucially, Kirk has a way of pushing his soul through the horn and into the consciousness of the listener. Most horn players might rattle the leaves — Kirk shakes the whole tree. His dual sense of playfulness and passion comes alive on the title track, a reworking of the 19th century Christmas carol — a bold reinvention undoubtedly inspired by John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things,” released just a few months before the recording of this album. 

TITLE TIME
3:10
4:23
4:40
3:38
5:13
4:08
4:46
2:29
6:11
4:28

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