The music Roland Kirk creates comes from all over the jazzosphere. From New Orleans to Bop and Blues, Free -form and more, Kirk draws his influences but melds them into a form that is distinctively his and his alone. As a multi instrumentalist and player of all sorts of obscure wind instruments, his albums have an uncommon sense of colour, drama and energy that make them highly distinctive and entertaining.
The Inflated Tear' from 1967,is one of many great albums from Kirk. The music is quirky, warm and mellow and then ferociously passionate and joyful. Kirk is never predictable and there is no discernible formula at work. His melodies and solos merge into each other so that the listener is taken on a musical journey where themes appear and mutate over time, leaving the listener gasping at the imaginative powers on display. This isn't a 'blowing' kind of album. Each tune is carefully thought out, but there is plenty of room individual contribution. Lovers of Ellington, Coltrane, Dolphy or Mingus will find lots to enjoy here. Try the Gospel flavoured 'The Inflated Tear' ,featuring some beautiful piano from Ron Burton, it might be the best thing on the album and certainly gives a good idea of what to expect from the other tracks. Recommended.