Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Brotherman in the Fatherland

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

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.