Friday, February 12, 2010

Rahsaan Roland KIRK - Reeds and Deeds 1963

Rahsaan Roland KIRK - Reeds and Deeds 1963
SR 60800

Unavailability has made a hunted obscurity of this early RRK gem. Far's I can tell, the only way of getting hold of its precious offering is off the ridiculously expensive Mercury box set, where it takes up a bit of discs 3 and 4.

You can still feel Mingus' influence lurking, but the multi-horn blowing sightless bandleader is somewhat freer than before of the Mingoid training wheels on these eight moderate-length tracks (all originals, I believe---a major part of the Kirk treat). This is the third in a run of tremendous studio albums announcing Kirk's arrival in compositional supremacy, starting with We Free Kings , moving on to the even better Domino , and then Reeds & Deeds, which although I've just heard, strikes me as perhaps the best of the three, and worthy competition for the later, better known masterpoids, Rip, Rig and Panic and The Inflated Tear.

Somewhat more conventional than he would get a few years later starting with Rip, but none the worse for audiowear. I mean when I say conventional, I'm not talking Benny Goodman here. Or even Dexter Gordon. The odd, dramatic, slightly clownish effects and unexpected time shifts and noisemaking gags still appear every now and then, but always seem to me like diversions, because Kirk would be more than slightly "different" even without the little Spike Jonesisms.

There's the usual combination of slow ballads and peppy ballburners Kirk seems to like to jumble together. And, as always, he plays everything he can find. Tenor sax, manzello, stritch, flute and siren are the weapons of choice. Among the single-instrument mortals behind him, Richard Davis (bass), Harold Mabern (piano) and drummer Walter Perkins, a frequent Kirkian, are along for the ride, among others.
Roland Kirk- Tenor Sax, Manzello, Stritch, Flute, Siren
Virgil Jones- Trumpet
Charles Greenlee- Trombone (tracks B3-B4)
Harold Mabern- Piano
Abdullah Rafik- Bass (tracks B3-B4)
Walter Perkins- Drums
Tom McIntosh- Trombone (tracks A3-A4)
Richard Davis- Bass (tracks A3-A4)
Benny Golson- Arranger (tracks A3-A4)
A1 Reeds & Deeds 5:16
A2 Hay Ro 2:59
A3 This Is Always 4:17
A4 Song of the Countrymen 6:54
B1 Limbo Boat 2:52
B2 Lonesome August Child 4:33
B3 Land of Peace 5:49
B4 Waltz of the Friends 4:37

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