Concerts from the Vault: Rashaan Roland Kirk

Summer has been in full bloom in Portland since the first week of July, so my time on the computer has been sporadic at best. Recently, I caught Bettye Lavette at the Riverfront Blues Festival, and witnessing this soul diva groove to the music and belt out old and new tunes with such enthusiasm was an awe-inspiring experience. I left feeling that there are artists out there who really feel each and every note that they are singing, who live and breathe each chord progression as it unfolds in front of the audience. They aren't in it for the money, fame or adulation, though I'm sure they aren't going to turn it down.  This is simply a passion that runs deep in their blood and surges through them, never letting up until they have created music that resonates in their soul.

This is why I am so passionate about live music. There is something about the sound, the vibrations, the groove, the beats, the melodies and the chord progressions that keep me coming back for more. I firmly believe that the best avenue for experiencing the full breadth of what music has to offer is in the live context. When a band is firing on all cylinders right before your eyes, there is no other feeling like it in the world. All of your senses are stimulated at the same time, releasing more serotonin in your brain, and in turn, bringing your body and mind to a state of euphoria.

You may ask yourself, what am I leading up to here? Over the past few months, I have been promising you a new series that showcases live shows that I have collected, downloaded and recorded over the years, and today it is finally coming to fruition with the debut of Concerts from the Vault

For the first installment of Concerts from the Vault, I am featuring one of my favorite jazz musicians Rashaan Roland Kirk and the Vibration Society with a show from the Village Vanguard in 1973. Rashaan's playing is unparalleled in the world of jazz, especially considering that he managed to play multiple, specially modified saxophones simultaneously while being completely blind. Most musicians would be thankful if they could play one saxophone as well as Rashaan juggles three without missing a beat, but Rashaan has also mastered the flute, clarinet, harmonica and trumpet.

The tunes from this concert include the raucous 'Bright Moments', the playfully peppy 'Three for the Festival Pts 1 and 2' with a phenomenal flute solo, the old-timey, Dixieland styled 'Dem Red Beans and Rice' and a blistering rendition of Thelonius Monk's classic 'Epistophy'. All in all, this is one worth listening to again and again.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk and the Vibration Society

Village Vanguard

MP3 (320K)

Rahsaan Roland Kirk, reeds
Hilton Ruiz, pno
Henry "Pete" Pearson, ds
John Goldsmith dr
Kenny Rogers, bari sax
01. Fine and Dandy> (1:24)
02. Wow, Look at those Beautiful Black Indians (Cherokee changes) (23:39)
03. Blues in C (Frankie and Johnny?) (8:20)
04. Bright Moments (11:28)
05. Three for the Festival Pts. 1> Pts. 2 (5:46)
06. Dem Red Beans and Rice (5:11)
07. Epistrophy (14:19)
08. UNK (9:26)


I hope you have enjoyed the first installment of Concerts from the Vault.  Expect more episodes of this series in the near future. Please drop me a line in the comments to let me know what you think of this show.


Kevin said…
Holly said…
Thank you VERY much. LOVE. :-)
apauling said…
Thanks a million for this post. RRK was a colossus who I was privileged to catch live many times during the '60s and '70s when he played The Lighthouse in Venice and Concerts by the Sea in Hermosa Beach, CA. I already own virtually everything put out on Rahsaan on vinyl and CD, so coming upon this previously unheard set was a delightful treat—a true bright moment.
Anonymous said…
Thanks, Kevin! That's wonderful!
Kevin said…
Apauling: thanks for stopping by and sharing your
stories abut catching Rashaan live back in
the 60's and 70's. That must have been an
amazing time to see him. Hope you keep
stopping by.

Rich: Good to hear from you again. I stop by
Your blog every now and then, but I really
need to comment on your blog too.

Best to both of you!
kevinffm said…
amazing - thanks

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