Friday, January 8, 2016


Like Carla Bley, Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1935-1977) also played rock clubs in the early and mid 70s as well, and I was fortunate enough to have seen him several times in New York and Boston at both jazz spots and in rock halls.  He was certainly well versed in the history of jazz music and played in the jazz style, but the rock appeal can be heard in the tone and quality of his playing, accentuated  as it was by his circular breathing techniques (he doesn't pause to take an in-breath - just try and hum along with his solos) and his penchant for simultaneously playing multiple instruments.

To this day, I swear Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull learned every lick he ever knew on flute from Rahsaan, and if he were alive today, Rahsaan could probably make a credible claim to being the god-father of hip-hop as well.  Check out his flute playing and analogue approach to sampling, as well as a brief history lesson on jazz, in this live performance video.

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