1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2011
This is classic Rahsaan - Roland Kirk at his very best. Recorded live in excellent sound, it is a classic set - perhaps the most varied but consistently brilliant Kirk blowing available (and that is really saying something). It contains some of his fiercest and most impressive work on both saxophones (particularly the curiously titled "Intro - Like Sonny" (he sounds like Rahsaan not Rollins to me, and also throws in a few Trane quotes along the way), but also the mind-blowing sustained intensity of "Pedal Up" as well as the two Trane tribute epics "Afro Blue" and "Blue Train") and flutes (particularly the wonderful "My Guy" which contains the most amazing one-man flute duet I've ever heard - surpassing even Kirk's other many miraculous performances in this department, but also the more common Kirk flute feature "Serenade to a Cuckoo"). The polite applause throughout provides amusing juxtaposition to the unbelievable sounds just flooding out from the unstoppable miracle man on stage.
OK, the 5 star rating is partly to counteract the inexplicable previous 2 star rating, which complained of too much "free type jazz", even though this is no more or less way out than pretty much any Rahsaan, but particularly compared to the Volunteered Slavery / Blacknuss type material which the reviewer claims to prefer I would say this is closer to the mainstream (check out the gorgeous rendition of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" for example). Maybe you could argue this isn't the most obvious starting point for a journey into the incredible and unique musical universe of Roland Kirk (I'd usually point folks at the likes of "Rip, Rig and Panic" or "We Free Kings" for that), so maybe you could argue the case for a 4 star rating on this basis. But then again for sheer incredible and wonderful musical content this comes second to nothing and no one.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2007
If you are new to Kirk then I suggest that you avoid this one. I really like the "Volunteered Slavery/Blacknuss" era and this is recorded shortly after in 1972. So, I thought this would be a superb buy. Don't get me wrong, the sound quality is good and there are some really good bits, but I found myself wishing that he would just play us a tune rather than the free type jazz played most of the way through this. Some great flute work though which saves the album for me. Incidentally, the sleeve notes are some of the worst I have read, and jazz albums' notes are usually dire!
Therefore, if you're a fan, buy it. If you fancy getting into Kirk, and lets face it, everyone should, then buy Blacknuss or Volunteered Slavery.
Incidentally, there is another recent release that is worth getting, fan or not, which I think is "In Europe 1962-1967 With Tete Montoliu" and recorded in 1962 which is just wonderful. Better than this.