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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2003
Many people focus on the fact that Rashaan Roland Kirk played many instruments and often all at the same time. Yeah, that IS pretty amazing, but the really amazing thing is that despite this tomfoolery the man could produce some of the most beautiful, haunting, soulful, funky, explosive music I have ever heard.
This is a great album - in so many ways, great music, great lineup (Elvin Jones on drums!) and two albums in one!. Usually it takes me time to get into something new, and I know that taking that time means that it will stay with me for a long time. Not so with Roland Kirk, I loved it straight off and I know I will keep hunting down the hard to find records for a long time to come.
Standout tracks include Mystical Dreams, the eponymous Rip Rig and Panic, Black Diamonds, Alfie (yes the Cilla Black number....) Silverisation and Now Please dont you cry Beautiful Edith. All different in their own way, but wonderful. Do yourself a favour and get into Rashaan's music and whenever someone asks you what your favourite Roland Kirk tune is just tell them - 'the one I'm listening to now', 'cos they are all knockouts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 26 September 2014
The key to most of the music of the late Roland Kirk (1936-77) is joy. There's hardly a number he recorded that doesn't bespeak a great, huge-hearted joy of life, an uplift not always found so blatantly or so unashamedly in the world of jazz. Louis and Diz had it, Duke and Basie tended towards it, Sun Ra toyed with it, Fats Waller wallowed in it, but Kirk embodied it.
These two records from the mid-sixties contain some of his most vital work, Rip, Rig and Panic being a truly great jazz album, with the lesser known ...Edith not that far behind.
On Rip (from 1965) he's accompanied by a superb small band made up of the gregarious and versatile pianist Jaki Byard (try his own Sunshine of my Soul), bassist Richard Davis, with ever-adaptable Elvin Jones providing plenty of roughage on drums. It's a perfect line-up for Kirk's brand of mercurial 'Lord of Misrule' music-making.
On Edith (1967) he's with buoyant pianist Lonnie Liston Smith, Ronald Boykins (a name new to me) on bass, and Grady Tate excellent on drums.
As on Edith, Kirk can play a ballad as poignantly as anyone, without reverence but with respect for the composer's intentions. Hear what he does with Bacharach's Alfie (a brand new tune back then!), in particular the couple of false finishes he gives it, which somehow only add to its unexpectedly touching quality.
It was a good idea to pair these two short LPs on one CD, as they complement each other, despite differing line-ups, and it means you get two wonderful Kirk albums on one CD, which leaves everybody a winner.
The booklet contains the original notes plus a few photos, including one with his devoted wife Edith.
Kirk could sometimes have a reputation as a kind of jazz circus act - playing three instruments at once, for example - but what he did was simply to play great jazz (often in a surprisingly mainstream style) without fuss or much of a furrowed brow.
There's more fine and uplifting jazz here than you can shake a stritch at. And if you don't know what that is - listen to Kirk! He knew.

Unreservedly recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 November 2013
Roland Kirk combined his superb technical skills as a saxophonist and flutist with a wild sense of abandon that permeates every aspect of his playing and compositional skills. Throughout the course of this superb twofer set, Kirk demonstrates his mastery of style and tone. He veers from the warm, melodic and lyrical to solo excursions that are simply breathtaking in their inventiveness. From the blues to the ballad, from Ellington style to New Orleans, Kirk did it all. But he was far from being a simple revivalist. Like Charles Mingus he looked forward, using `found sounds', a little rock and roll and free-form along with all things trad. Kirk was an explorer and free spirit.

'Rip, Rig and Panic' and 'Now Please Don't You Cry Beautiful Edith', date from the mid -1960's are essentially Kirk being backed by and accomplished piano and rhythm section, including Grady Tate, Lonnie Liston Smith and Elvin Jones. Both sets are wonderful. It is hard to imagine an artist as varied, exciting but emotionally committed to his music as Kirk. One of my favourite tracks in this collection is the relaxed stroll ,'Blue Roll'. His playing here is astonishing- melodic yet full of surprises, especially when he holds a note for what seem like endless seconds as a conclusion to his solo. Lovers of melody will fall for his unaffected take on 'Alfie', another little gem that shows that the great master respects the tradition and the medium but can pull something new from it. Paradoxically there is no 'showing off ' in Kirk's playing, just impish exuberance and a desire share all aspects of his music.

This set represents just two albums of Kirk's sizable output but they give a very representative idea of his general approach both in terms of quality and variety. It is superb value- great remastering, an informative booklet with some superb illustrations at the service of some great jazz can only lead to one logical statement: recommended. Not convinced? Listen to 'Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith'- a tune that goes from the mournful to the upbeat in a breath.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2009
Worth buying if only to discover the origins of the title - which is explained (in very small type) on the cover.

The music itself is extraordinary. I've been listening for the last couple of days in more or less any odd moment. It's completely addictive - think of John Coltrane's My Favorite Things and then go beyond. This may be one of the best jazz albums ever made.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 November 2012
This marvellous CD combines two quartet albums by the multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk(1936-1977).
'Rip, Rig and Panic'(tracks 1-7) was recorded in New Jersey on January 13, 1965 with Kirk(tenor saxophone, manzello, flute, oboe, stritch, castanets & siren), and a superb rhythm section of Jaki Byard(piano); Richard Davis(bass) & Elvin Jones(drums).
Kirk's idiosyncratic music is steeped in the jazz tradition and highlights of the seven tracks are the tribute to Lester Young 'No Tonic Pres', 'From Bechet, Byas and Fats' and the title-track.
'Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith'(tracks 8-15) was recorded in New Jersey during April, 1967 with Kirk(tenor saxophone, flute, stritch & manzello); Lonnie Liston Smith(piano); Ronald Boykins(bass) & Grady Tate(drums).
While not on the same high level as 'R,R & P' this is an enjoyable and varied session that's been unjustly overlooked.
All in all, this 67-minute CD is an ideal introduction to Kirk's extraordinary musical talents.
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on 18 November 2012
I bought this as a birthday present and the recipient is quite happy with it so it's getting 5 stars from me
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on 25 June 2015
excellent. thoroughly enjoyed it.
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The Big Classic!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2014
A second copy of this CD turned up in the post some time after the first one?
This is the second time I have reported it!
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