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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Four Classic Albums

Avid AMSC 1111



Introducing Roland Kirk

1. The Call

2. Soul Station

3. Our Waltz

4. Our Love is Here to Stay

5. Spirit Girl

6. Jack the Ripper

Roland Kirk – Tenor sax, manzello, stritch

Ira Sullivan – Trumpet, tenor sax

William Burton – Piano

Don Garrett – Bass

Sonny Brown – Drums

Kirk’s Work

7. Three for Dizzy

8. Makin’ Whoopee

9. Funk Underneath

10. Kirk’s Work

11. Doin’ the Sixty-Eight

12. Too Late Now

13. Skater’s Waltz

Roland Kirk – Tenor sax, manzello, stritch, flute, siren

Jack McDuff – Hammond organ

Joe Benjamin – Bass

Arthur Taylor - Drums

We Free Kings

1. Three for the Festival

2. Moon Song

3. A Sack Full of Soul

4. The Haunted Melody

5. Blues for Alice

6. We Free Kings

7. You Did It, You Did It

8. Some Kind of Love

9. My Delight

Roland Kirk - Tenor sax, stritch, manzello, flute, siren

Hank Jones - Piano (tracks 1, 2, 6-8)

Wendell Marshall - Bass (tracks 1, 2, 6-8)

Richard Wyands - Piano (tracks 3-5, 9)

Art Davis - Bass (tracks 3-5, 9)

Charlie Persip – Drums


10. Domino

11. Meeting on Termini's Corner

12. Time

13. Lament

14. A Stritch In Time

15. 3-in-1 Without the Oil

16. Get Out of Town

17. Rolando

18. I Believe in You

19. E.D

Roland Kirk - Tenor sax, stritch, manzello, flute, siren

Andrew Hill - Piano, celeste (tracks 10-15)

Vernon Martin - Bass

Henry Duncan – Drums (tracks 10-15)

Wynton Kelly - Piano (tracks 16-19)

Roy Haynes - Drums (tracks 16-19)


I have already reviewed for MusicWeb International the last three of the four LPs on this double album, but it is worth recommending the compilation for its bargain price of £6.99 and its excellent sound quality. It also gives you what looks like (judging from its title, Introducing Roland Kirk) Roland’s first LP – from 1960, even though he had actually recorded Triple Threat for a small label four years earlier.

Introducing Roland Kirk teams him up with Ira Sullivan, a musician experienced in bebop as well as more mainstream styles. Sullivan plays the trumpet as well as the tenor sax. Right from the start, you can hear an astonishing new jazz voice, as Kirk plays several instruments at once, generating his own unique harmony. He switches easily from one instrument to two or three, conjuring up a remarkable range of sounds.

The ‘Introducing’ album doesn’t contain any of Roland’s flute-playing but there is plenty on the three other LPs. He brought a new way of playing to the flute: using trills, screeches, growls and even humming. The later LPs also illustrate Kirk’s humour (note the quotations from the folk-song This Old Man in Lament) and his wide range of material – from Waldteufel’s Skater’s Waltz to a Christmas carol which is reinvented as We Free Kings.

With 146 minutes of peerless music on two discs, this compilation is highly recommended.

Tony Augarde

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