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September 2006

Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Brotherman in the Fatherland
Hyena

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was still at the height of his creative powers when he recorded these sides in Hamburg, Germany, on March 3, 1972. Kirk’s wonderful live recording Bright Eyes (Rhino) dates from the same time period, and his stunning studio works Prepare Thyself to Deal With a Miracle and The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color still loomed on the horizon.

Kirk’s instrumental versatility—as well as his improvisational virtuosity—shines through on this never-before-issued live date. Backed by pianist Ron Burton, bassist Henry Pearson, drummer Richie Goldberg and Joe Texidor on percussion, Kirk bounces from Motown (a funky take on “My Girl”) to Coltrane (a stunning version of “Blue Trane”) and makes it all seem to fit together perfectly.

The sound quality is good, apparently straight from the board, with audience reaction minimized except for polite applause at the end of several selections. Unfortunately, Joel Dorn, who has been a Kirk devotee since producing the legendary musician in the ’70s, goes off the deep end in his liner notes. His hipper-than-thou pose certainly seems to get in the way of this fine music rather than leading the listener into a deeper appreciation of Kirk’s talent.

Originally published in September 2006
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