Reviews that mention Rahsaan Roland Kirk

June 1, 2016

On Screen

Tubby Hayes-A Man in a Hurry
A film by Mark Baxter and Lee Cogswell (Mono Media)

By Ken Waxman

Like a dwarf star shooting across the jazz scene, tenor saxophonist Tubby Hayes (1935-1973) is acknowledged as the pre-free music British player who could hold his own with any American innovator; and we have the LPs he made with Clark Terry and Roland Kirk as proof. This documentary is a classic look at the musician, including performance footage plus interviews with 21 observers who outline the circumstances that made him the musician he was, yet contributed to his early death. Hayes got his first saxophone at 12 and was playing professionally at 15. Hayes, who stood five foot five and weighted close to 200 pounds, looked very young. Yet, as tenor saxophonist Ronnie Scott, his partner in The Jazz Couriers says, the first time he played with the Haynes, he was nearly blown nearly off the stand. MORE

October 10, 2005

The Velvet Lounge: On Late Chicago Jazz

by Gerald Majer
Columbia University Press

By Ken Waxman

A non-faction memoir of tales that may or not have happened, this volume is, to overstate the case a bit, sort of an American À la recherche du temps perdu. Gerald Majer, an English professor at Villa Julie College in Baltimore, utilizes his listening experiences involving major Chicago jazz musicians, as an entrée to his ruminations and meditations on growing up in that Midwestern city.

Don’t be fooled by the photograph of tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson on the cover or the two-page discography at the end of the volume however. Although Majer deals, in greater or lesser degrees, with the sounds of, among others, tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, Anderson, bandleader Sun Ra, multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Art Ensemble of Chicago members Roscoe Mitchell and Malachi Favors, this is no music encyclopedia or a collection of album and CD reviews. MORE

March 19, 2001


Tonight At Noon
Label M 495723

TONIGHT AT NOON is the most impressive record session that Charles Mingus never made.

That's because the LP -- which was originally released by Atlantic in 1964 -- was pieced together from tunes left off 1957's THE CLOWN and 1961's OH YEAH albums. Still, it's probably a tribute to the talents of both Mingus as a composer and his sidemen that the tunes recorded four years apart hang together so well.

Mingus did have an overwhelming point of view, nonetheless, as many of the stories about him would attest. Considering the bassist's most consistent assistant, drummer Dannie Richmond, and one of his most fluent interpreters, trombonist Jimmy Knepper, are present on all tracks, things are that much more cohesive.


February 21, 2001


Here Comes The Whistleman
Label M 495720

If there's a defining track on this reissue of one of Rahsaan Roland Kirk's best-remembered LPs from the mid-1960s, it comes in a duet between him on tenor saxophone and elegantly eclectic pianist Jaki Byard on "I Wished On The Moon".

Just before the two transform the minor movie ballad into an emotional showcase with some heartfelt improvising, Kirk (1936-1977) starts talking about musicians who really know how to stretch. He recalls those who were so infused with music that they could create satisfying tunes with just a washboard or a telephone book if "real" instruments weren't around. He could be talking about himself.


August 12, 2000


Verve Master Edition 314 543 833-2

Appending additional material to older LPs when making the transition to CD, raises questions about the appropriateness of jazz archeology. If a certain session was well received as a single disc -- as DOMINO certainly was -- why suddenly add a surplus of tunes and takes that didn't make the original cut?

The aesthetic argument is that this new material offers a different perspective on how a masterwork was produced and exposes some outstanding cuts that should have been released at the time, but weren't; the pragmatic contention is that the supplementary music helps fill out the session to CD length.