Friday, December 4, 2009

Santa's List

I blogged earlier about Rahsaan Roland Kirk's incomparable album: Rip, Rig, and Panic/Now Please Don't You Cry Dear Edith.  I also included the recording in my best 50 list.  If you don't have this thing, sit on Santa's lap.  Or buy two of them, and give one as a gift to someone very special.

Another very fine Kirk recording is Complements of the Mysterious Phantom.  It is not only a display of Kirk's virtuosity, it is also a very entertaining and enlightening document of live jazz culture.  It includes brief sections of "Rahspeak", little monologues that are not evidence of a weak personality.
I was listenin' to Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins when I was in my mother's womb.  She says every time she put Charlie Parker on the record player I was jumping up and down inside her.  My crib was a saxophone case.  Yeah. 

The folks who got to sit in on this one got their money's worth.  But don't let me mislead you: this recording is full of full steam jazz bop. Hilton Ruiz (p) Henry Pearson (b), John Goldsmith (d) Samson Verge (per).  Here is a sample:
Rahsaan Roland Kirk/My One and Only Love/Complements of the Mysterious Phantom

On a very different score, here is another stocking stuffer. Bassist Charlie Haden recorded a number of albums under the title "The Montreal Tapes."  I haven't heard recently from commenter Bass Is Life, but BIL will like this one.  It's a trio, with Al Foster on drums and Joe Henderson on tenor.  It is my view that one simply cannot have too much Joe Henderson.  The recording consists of four lengthy pieces, each of them worth a trip to Canada.  Here is a sample:
Charlie Haden, Joe Henderson, Al Foster/Round Midnight/The Montreal Tapes
These two recordings have nothing other to do with one another than that I have been enjoying them tonight.  You will enjoy them too.  Trust me on this one.  

Update:  I have been a bit behind in listening to my favorite podcast, In the Groove, Jazz and Beyond, by my good friend Ken Laster.  Tonight I was listening to Ken's November 8th show, The Masters Part 2, and what should I hear but the very Rahsaan Roland Kirk album I posted on last night.  I am not sure why, but I feel compelled to explain that this was sheer coincidence.  In fact, I only downloaded the RRK recording yesterday afternoon because it had been in my "saved list" on eMusic for a while.  The power of Kirk! 

Anyway, if you read this blog and like the music I review, and you don't listen to Ken's podcast, you are cheating yourself.  Ken's shows are gold mines of good jazz, and he is a lot of fun to listen to.  Don't miss it. 


  1. Man, so RRK can play two, or is it three horns at once? And doing it pretty damn well, AFAICT. I can play a kazoo, although some would argue the point. Two ends of the chart, right there.

  2. I am with you, there. I can play a passable blues harmonica line, though it tends to sound the same no matter what music I accompany. But RRK was, in fact, superhuman.

    Checkout the clip on the previous post. Apparently Thomas Chapin did the same two horn thing. It might be something of a trick. That is to say, it might be one of those things that looks amazing but is really easy (at least for someone who can play at least one horn!). But it is used to brilliant effect by both artists.

    Thanks for the comment.