September 1, 2012

RIP Hal David

"I Say A Little Prayer" by Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1969)

June 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Jaki Byard

Byard was a versatile piano player who mastered virtually every piano style — stride, rag time, bebop and free — and often put them together into a single tune, such as this one. He was particularly active in the sixties, doing session work with Mingus, Dolphy and Kirk, and lead a series of excellent recordings for Prestige. He died from a gunshot wound in 1999.

"St. Louis Blues" (1967)

November 16, 2011

Bluely Noted’s Beatles Challenge: Our Favorite Beatles Covers

Roland Kirk - “And I Love Her” (1965)

The fifth track from The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night (1964) has many jazz vocal (Sarah Vaughan, Esther Phillips, Julie London, Helen Merrill, and Shirley Horne) and instrumental (Count Basie, David “Fathead” Newman, Fred Hersch, Freddie McCoy, Pat Metheny, Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers and Ramsey Lewis) covers, but none of these can touch this exuberant version by Bluely Noted favorite Roland Kirk.  

This track comes from Slightly Latin, released by Limelight in 1965, pre-Rahsaan years.  Kirk reaches into his impressive arsenal — tenor sax, manzello, stretch, clarinet, flute, bagpipes, piccolo, baritone sax, siren, everything under the sink — and adds Latin and exotica (scatting vocals on some tracks) flourishes to his patented off-kilter reed solos, threatening Paul’s sweet ballad with unrestrained disorder.  Slightly Latin also boasts killer versions of “Walk On By” and “All In The Game,” the latter being to our knowledge the only pop hit ever written by a Vice President of the United States — Charles Dawes, who served under Calvin Coolidge.

September 26, 2011

Down Beat 1975 Poll Winners’ Show: Rahsaan Roland Kirk plays “Pedal Up”

With McCoy Tyner (quoting “My Favorite Things”) and Stanley Clarke

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