Rahsaan Roland Kirk was born Ronald Theodore Kirk in Columbus, Ohio in 1935. Apparently compelled in a dream to transpose two letters in his first name to make Roland, he became blind at an early age as a result of poor medical treatment. In 1970, Kirk added "Rahsaan" to his name after hearing it spoken in another dream. Preferring to lead his own bands, Kirk nevertheless often performed as a sideman with other Jazz greats, most notably with arranger Quincy Jones and drummer Roy Haynes. and had notable stints with bassist Charles Mingus. One of his best-known recorded performances is the lead flute and solo on Jones' "Soul Bossa Nova", a 1964 hit song re-popularized in the Austin Powers films. His playing was generally rooted in soul jazz or hard bop, but Kirk's knowledge of jazz history allowed him to draw on many elements of the music's past, from ragtime to swing and free jazz. His main instrument was the tenor saxophone, supplemented by other saxes, and contrasted with the lighter sound of the flute. At times he would play a number of these horns at once, harmonizing with himself, or sustain a note for lengthy durations by using circular breathing, or play the rare, seldom heard nose flute. A number of his instruments were exotic or homemade, but even while playing two or three saxophones at once the music was intricate, powerful jazz with a strong feel for the blues. Kirk was politically outspoken. During his concerts, between songs he often talked about topical issues, including black history and the civil rights movement. His monologues were often laced with satire and absurdist humor. According to talk show host Jay Leno, when Leno toured with Kirk as his opening act, Kirk would introduce him by saying, I want to introduce a young brother who knows the black experience and knows all about the white devils .... Please welcome Jay Leno! He was renowned for his onstage vitality, during which virtuoso improvisation was accompanied by comic banter, political ranting, and the ability to play several instruments simultaneously. This 4 CD Set compiles together the albums - eight in all - that Roland Kirk released under his own name, or on which he featured heavily as a sideman, during his first six years as a recording artist. From his debut Triple Threat in 1956 (released originally on the King Records label) through to his stunning contribution to British Jazz legend, Tubby Hayes , Tubby s Back in 1962 - the era most fans and Jazz aficionados consider the great man s Golden Years are compiled here in their entirety.