On this day in jazz (June 25)

Monday, 22 June 2015 10:47 administrator
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On this day in 1972, Rahsaan Roland Kirk was recorded in concert for the album I, Eye, Aye: Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, 1972. During the concert, you can hear Rahsaan playing the tenor saxophone, manzello, stritch, clarinet and flute. His rhythm section was composed of Ron Burton at the piano, Henry "Pete" Pearson on bass, Robert Shy on the drums and Joe Habad Texidor with additional percussion.

Continuing with the avant-garde theme from yesterday, I thought that Rahsaan was a perfect follow up--plus I think that I have only featured him one other time on my blog. Like several other jazz giants of the 60s and 70s, Kirk was outspoken when it cam to both black history and civil rights--often breaking into monologue between songs. Jay Leno who opened for Rahsaan on one of his tours said that 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!". I wonder who was the better comedian? One other bit of trivia: Jimi Hendrix, arguably the greatest rock guitarist of all time, had hoped to record with Rahsaan but unfortunately would die before that could happen.

Thom Jurek in his review for allmusic.com said the following about the album:

This live recording is a companion to a documentary called The One Man Twins...The set is absolutely electrifying. From the few short raps Kirk offers the crowd, one cannot be prepared for the honking, shouting, funky, gritty sets that follow... This is a hell of an introduction to one of the least-understood figures in jazz history, and an absolute necessity for fans.

Here's Rahsaan with "Volunteered Slavery":

Track listing:

 

  1. "Rahsaantalk, No. 1" - 0:38
  2. "Seasons" - 6:00
  3. "Rahsaantalk, No. 2" - 1:12
  4. "Balm in Gilead" (Traditional) - 7:05
  5. "Volunteered Slavery" - 10:20
  6. "Rahsaantalk, No. 3" - 0:24
  7. "Blue Rol, No. 2" - 9:04
  8. "Solo Piece: Satin Doll/Improvisation" (Duke Ellington/Kirk) - 4:19
  9. "Serenade to a Cuckoo" - 3:28
  10. "Pedal Up" - 6:11

 

On this day in 1964, pianist Andrew Hill recorded the album Andrew!!! at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in Hackensack, NJ. Also appearing on the album were John Gilmore on the tenor saxophone, the great Bobby Hutcherson on vibraphone, Richard Davis on bass and Joe Chambers on the drums. This was Andrew's sixth album and features six songs of avant-garde & modal post-bop and is one of his least accessible albums for most casual jazz fans.

 

Stephen Thomas Erlewine reviewed the album for allmusic.com, saying "Andrew!!! is just as adventurous and challenging as any of his other albums, which is to Hill's credit.... Often, the music has a floating, hypnotic quality, which only makes Hill's dissonance, unusual voicings, and complex arrangements more compelling than usual.

If this album seems to be a little too much for you, then check out some of his other more accessible recordings such as "So In Love", "Smoke Stack" or "Judgement!"

 

Here's Andrew with "Black Monday":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FJritoqyMk

Track listing:

  1. "The Groits" - 6:04
  2. "Black Monday" - 8:55
  3. "Duplicity" - 6:11
  4. "Le Serpent Qui Danse" - 6:55
  5. "No Doubt" - 4:23
  6. "Symmetry" - 7:08