Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rahsaan Roland KIRK - I Eye Aye Live at Montreux 1972

Rahsaan Roland KIRK - I Eye Aye Live at Montreux 1972
1996 Issue. R2 72453


Recorded during his legendary appearance at the 1972 Montreux Jazz Festival, I EYE AYE is one of Rahsaan Roland Kirk's finest releases. The multi-instrumentalist is backed by a sympathetic quartet of longtime associates: pianist Ron Burton, bassist Henry Pearson, drummer Robert Shy, and invaluable percussionist Joe Habao Texidor, who powers this set's centerpiece, a 10-minute take on Kirk's classic "Volunteered Slavery," like a man possessed. Spurred on by Texidor's fervor, Kirk turns in some of his most impassioned playing, blowing fiery solos on one to three instruments at a time and essaying one of his best "duets for one," interweaving Ellington's standard "Satin Doll" with an improvisation of his own in an intoxicating blend. A lengthy, impassioned reading of the hymn "Balm in Gilead" is the set's emotional high point, and a relaxed, swinging take on Kirk's 1964 composition "Serenade to a Cuckoo" is an absolute joy.
This live recording is a companion to a documentary called The One Man Twins. Released for the first time in 1996, both audio and video gives both fans and the uninitiated a glimpse of the century's most colorful performers and most complex jazz musicians. Kirk's band for the date was comprised of pianist Ron Burton, bassist Henry Pete Pearson, drummer Robert Shy, and percussionist Joe Texidor. Only Burton and Texidor were Kirk regulars. 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. Kirk begins with Seasons, a careening rush of flute acrobatics, and on into a deeply moving rendition of Balm in Gilead, where Kirk evokes the spirit of Paul Robeson, and then into arguably the greatest version of Volunteered Slavery on record, a slamming R&B stomp of literally epic proportions, where Kirk uses each of his horns and starts blowing different notes on each simultaneously. There is a gorgeous solo medley where Kirk combines Ellington's Satin Doll and an improvisation on its two themes and comes up with something completely new, yet reverentially sound. The set ends with Serenade to a Cuckoo, which moves across scalar dimensions and tonal registers with a deep, funky grace, and finally, Pedal Up, a standard Kirk crowd-pleaser that brings all of his elements — the spectral, the spiritual, and the carnal — into full play. The band, with new players, can barely keep up with Kirk, but Burton keeps them right in line with the master's shifts in mood, mode, and tempo while keeping the entire gig harmonically on course no matter which instrument Kirk chooses to play. This is a hell of an introduction to one of the least-understood figures in jazz history, and an absolute necessity for fans.
By Thom Jurek. AMG.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk- Ttenor Sax, Manzello, Stritch, Clarinet, Flute, Nose Flute, Siren);
Ron Burton- (Piano);
Henry Pete- Pearson (Bass);
Robert Shy- (Drums);
Joe Habao Texidor- (Percussion).
01.Rahsaantalk 1  (0:38)    
02.Seasons   (10:37)
03.Rahsaantalk 2  (1:12)    
04.Balm in Gilead  (7:15)    
05.Volunteered Slavery  (5:44) 
06.Rahsaantalk 3  (0:24)    
07.Blue Rol No. 2  (9:04)
08.Solo Piece Satin Doll  Improvisation  (4:19)    
09.Serenade to a Cuckoo  (3:28)     
10.Pedal Up  (6:11)


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