Friday, December 11, 2009
Rahsaan Roland KIRK - Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith 1967
Title a reference to his wife, who he just recently divorced at the time. She was 15 years older than him, and really did treat him like a mother, very much in the wife/guardian role (think Nellie Monk for another contemporary example). She's pictured on the cover, listening attentively to Kirk as he plays his Stritch in what looks like their living room. Kirk soon found himself receiving lots of attention from younger females, something Edith couldn't stand and Kirk couldn't resist. They broke up and she was left a broken woman, turning to strong drink to ease her pain, in no small part due to Kirk's womanizing and also his finally giving her the heave-ho. I suppose this album was meant to smooth it all out -- funny how artists always think you can just put out a record with the name of someone whose life you ruined on it, and everything's hunky dory again. It's one of his more inside dates at this point, lots of smoothness and sweetness, lots of R&B, including another Bacharach cover, this time of "Alfie." Dude liked him some Bacharach
Combining the short yet solid 1965 release, Rip, Rig and Panic with Rahsaan Roland Kirk's 1967 release Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith, this two-fer presents a perfect portrait of Kirk's mid-'60s sound. While the albums are very different stylistically, Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith's mix of avant-garde and groove sounds seems like a logical next step to Rip, Rig and Panic's solid hard bop. Either of these albums would be great acquisitions on their own; getting them together is pure gravy.
By Stacia Proefrock, All Music Guide.
One among the less adventurous and by consequence more "conventional" recordings by the great "showman" and multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk (Aug. 7, 1935 - Dec. 5, 1977), this album was released in 1967 for Verve label. Roland Kirk had the particularity to be able to play together several brass instruments including tenor saxophone, flute, manzello, stritch, castanets and some others.
But on the opposite of his habit, on this one he plays many instruments at the same time only sporadically. And this shows even more how outstanding his talent was and that he could be compared with many other great saxophonists.
Indeed it confirms that his playing was not only a batch of demonstrations about his ability to play several instruments even though he was one of the best (maybe the best) to possess this particular artistry to push back the frontiers of music.
The album contains two ballads, the Burth Bacharach's "Alfie" and the beautifully sad eponymous title, and also two blues, "Blue Rol" and the hot "Fallout". The bossa "Why Don't They Know", and more post-bop oriented "Stompin' Ground" or "It's A Grand Night For Swinging" are also part of these nice numbers.
Somehow, it is maybe one of the more "classic" albums by Roland Kirk and also certainly one of the more overlooked ones.
But of course be sure to dig out also "I Talk with The Spirits" or also "The Inflated Tear", etc. among all the quality albums this exceptional musician recorded.
Note the young Lonnie Liston Smith, then aged 27 and some years before his spacey electric sets, was on piano.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk- (Tenor Sax, Stritch, Manzello, Siren, Castanets)
Lonnie Liston Smith- (Piano)
Ronnie Boykins- (Bass)
Grady Tate- (Drums)
A1. Blue Rol 6:09
A2. Alfie 2:52
A3. Why Don't They Know 2:54
A4. Silverlization 4:57
B1. Fallout 3:01
B2. Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith 4:23
B3. Stompin' Grounds 4:46
B4. It's a Grand Night for Swinging 3:10