on 17 January 2008
Rahsaan roland kirk must be one of the most innovative musicians of the century. He must also be, dare I say it, one of the most peculiar.
Whether a cagey eccentric or a dazzling genius of extraordinary talent and depth, the fact remains that this album, like all the 36+ he recorded, has opened my eyes and helped me to understand much of modern music today, and has even assisted me in my views of the "New Thing" movement which he, while not being a part of it, was an important influence on.
This is not for the fainthearted.Each piece is a composite artistic entity in its own right, and suites such as "The seeker" and "Baby let me shake your tree" contrast with typical swinging numbers liek Ellington's "Satin Doll", on which he plays the Manzello and Stritch, demonstrating a dose of circular breathing. Also on this album is a fair amount of political banter and bizarre, almost Dali-like comedy routines fill the gaps in between major tracks.
Certainly, listening to this album, I wonder how much other mysterious Roland Kirk material lies in some vault, too heightened in its spiritual sensitivity to be shown to the public. For I can only comprehend half of his ideas and can only listen to this album once in a orw, unlike msot of my record collection! The choice is yours. You may leave it, or let yourself aspire to new challenges and take a listen at this fabulous orchestration of "Black Classical Music", but whatever happens, there is no quesstion of this man's genius.