Sunday, June 15, 2008

June 15, 2008: Album of the Day Vol. 024: Roland Kirk - 1968 - The Inflated Tear


01. The Black And Crazy Blues
02. A Laugh For Rory
03. Many Blessings
04. Fingers In The Wind
05. The Inflated Tear
06. The Creole Love Call
07. A Handful Of Fives
08. Fly By Night
09. Lovellevelloloqui
10. I'm Glad There Is You (Reissue Version Only)

Bass - Steve Novosel
Drums - Jimmy Hopps
Piano - Ron Burton
Producer - Joel Dorn
Saxophone [Tenor], Saxophone [Manzello, Stritch], Clarinet, Flute, Whistle, English Horn, Performer [Flexafone] - Roland Kirk

All Music Guide Review by Thom Jurek:

The debut recording by Roland Kirk (this was still pre-Rahsaan) on Atlantic Records, the same label that gave us Blacknuss and Volunteered Slavery, is not the blowing fest one might expect upon hearing it for the first time. In fact, producer Joel Dorn and label boss Neshui Ertegun weren't prepared for it either. Kirk had come to Atlantic from Emarcy after recording his swan song for them, the gorgeous Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith, in April. In November Kirk decided to take his quartet of pianist Ron Burton, bassist Steve Novosel, and drummer Jimmy Hopps and lead them through a deeply introspective, slightly melancholy program based in the blues and in the groove traditions of the mid-'60s. Kirk himself used the flutes, the strich, the Manzello, whistle, clarinet, saxophones, and more — the very instruments that had created his individual sound, especially when some of them were played together, and the very things that jazz critics (some of whom later grew to love him) castigated him for. Well, after hearing the restrained and elegantly layered "Black and Crazy Blues," the stunning rendered "Creole Love Call," the knife-deep soul in "The Inflated Tear," and the twisting in the wind lyricism of "Fly by Night," they were convinced — and rightfully so. Roland Kirk won over the masses with this one too, selling over 10,000 copies in the first year. This is Roland Kirk at his most poised and visionary; his reading of jazz harmony and fickle sonances are nearly without peer. And only Mingus understood Ellington in the way Kirk did. That evidence is here also. If you are looking for a place to start with Kirk, this is it.

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