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Jazz Icons: Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Live in '63 and 67


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Jazz Icons: Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Live in '63 and 67 + Jazz Icons: Charles Mingus Live in '64 + Jazz Icons: John Coltrane Live in '60, '61 & '65
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This collection presents Rahsaan Roland Kirk playing with his entire instrumental arsenal of flutes, siren, music box, whistles, manzello, stritch, clarinet, and tenor saxophones-sometimes simultaneously! Even longtime Rahsaan Roland Kirk fans will be surprised and delighted by the renditions of Milestones and The Sandpiper. One of Europe's most highly regarded and creative drummers, Daniel Humair, accompanies Kirk on two of the three concert videos and on the other, the ever-resourceful Alex Riel, of Bill Evans Trio fame, provides the fire and the swing. This collection includes two different renditions of "Three For the Festival", arguably Kirk's most spectacular performance piece. Featuring a 24 page booklet with liner notes by John Kruth, forward by Drothaan Kirk, rare photographs and memorabilia collage.

Review

Jazz Icons is doing for jazz what the Criterion Collection has done for classic and important films. -- Jazz Times Magazine

Rahsaan Roland Kirk benefits most from having his music presented on DVD. Playing two or three instruments at a time, or altering between self-created horns in the middle of a solo demands seeing to be believed. It's just amazing how he could master so many instruments, and at the same time, without it appearing gimmicky. The two 63 concerts (from Belgium and Holland) find a very cool looking Kirk and band (George Gruntz/p, Guy Pedersen/b and Daniel Humair/d) crackling through bop tunes like "Milestones" adn "Bags' Groove". With right hand on manzello, and left on tenor, Kirk veers through "Lover" like there's no tomorrow. The stop-start timing on "Three For The Festival", featuring Kirk on three horns simultaneously, must be seen over and over to be believed. The 67 show in Norway includes Ron Burton/p, NHOP/b and Alex Riel/d digging deep grooves over tunes like "The Shadow Of Your Smile." His tenor work during "Blue Rol" shows that he was highly underrated at playing one instrument at a time. You'll check this one out many times over. -- JazzWeekly.com, George W. Harris, September 2008

The 1967 segment is especially fun to watch, as a frenzied Kirk wanders off mike with his manzello, bangs into the microphone with his tenor and topples his stritch stand (which he deftly catches before it falls). A cramped soundstage just couldn't contain this man. And a DVD hardly can either -- sweat and steam virtually pour from the thing. Grab it. -- MetalJazz.com, Greg Burk & Friends, October 2008

The Jazz Icons DVD features Kirk playing on three live dates in Belgium (1963), Holland (1963) and Norway (1967). Each song is a wonderful example of an honest artist robbed of sight who finds his way to a song's heart and shares its beauty along the way. Three highlights for me on this video are Milestones, Bags' Groove and The Shadow of Your Smile. -- JazzWax.com, Marc Myers, October 2008

The Jazz Icons series is onto its third set of DVDs now, and it continues to provide a wonderful opportunity for people to get to know some of the greats of the jazz world. Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Live In '64 & '68 makes a convincing argument for Kirk's inclusion in that stellar company. For sheer excitement, and jaw-dropping astonishment, there are few players alive today who can match what he accomplished during his years performing and recording. While there might still be a few purists who will dismiss him and his playing, the rest of us can just get on with enjoying his gifts and listening to some great music. -- Blog Critics Magazine, Richard Marcus, September 06, 2008

The sound quality is first rate, and the performances are extraordinary. -- Newsweek Magazine

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, Alex Riel, Daniel Humair, Ron Burton
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Live, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Jazz Icons
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2008
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CW2HII
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,694 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
88%
4 star
13%
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See all 8 customer reviews
A magnificent taste of art in motion, created by an individual who still inspires and teaches.
Philip G. Pryor
Having seen Roland Kirk three times, and spoken to him on one occasion, I was truly interested in this installment of the Jazz Icon series more than most.
Charles Cogan
And it's a kick to watch the Dutch hipsters in the club drinking and smoking and grooving to Rahssan's sounds.
Dean R. Brierly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dean R. Brierly on October 20, 2008
Format: DVD
There are simply no words adequate to describe the phenomenon that was Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Dreamer and prophet are in the mix, although iconoclast probably comes closest. The fact that Kirk was blind yet could play three horns simultaneously made him the most unusual and perhaps the most inspiring figure in jazz history. Yet both those facts take a back seat to his peerless musicianship, unimpeachable swing and unlimited soul. During his all too brief career (he died in 1977 at 41), Kirk defied expectations and set standards of experimentation and achievement that few others could match. He didn't really fit into any one musical bag, although he was most conversant in the interrelated languages of soul jazz, blues, gospel and hard bop. There was certainly nobody else like him, which the performances on this Jazz Icons DVD illuminate with striking clarity. Kirk is seen in a segment of a 1963 Belgian television series; a filmed nightclub gig in Amersfoort, Holland that same year; and at a 1967 Norway jazz festival. Despite the lack of an audience in the first segment, Kirk and his bandmates (George Gruntz on piano, Guy Pedersen on bass and Daniel Humair on drums) manage to fill the television studio with some genuine musical heat as they work through a program of original material and several standards stamped with Kirk's inimitable genius. The live ambience of the nightclub setting, again featuring the same band, seems to push Kirk to an even higher level of energy and inspiration. (And it's a kick to watch the Dutch hipsters in the club drinking and smoking and grooving to Rahssan's sounds.) The jazz festival gig also finds Kirk in excellent form, this time backed by pianist Ron Burton, drummer Alex Riel, and the great Danish bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen.Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Charles Cogan on January 13, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having seen Roland Kirk three times, and spoken to him on one occasion, I was truly interested in this installment of the Jazz Icon series more than most. Little video exists of Rahsaan so this would be rare indeed. I was not disappointed.

Here is Kirk, a decade before I would see him, playing much of the repertoire that I came to love. Also here is Kirk with the woodwind acrobatics that few could copy: playing three horns at once, playing for seamless minutes through his "circular breathing" technique, and pulling out his little noisemakers (whistles, music boxes) to add punctuation to the songs.

True to form, the three shows on the DVD are from Europe, where jazz has a much greater following than here, but who cares? Here are the shows for you and me to see. The black and white camera work is very good and the audio is clean.

If you know about Kirk, you should have this. If you don't, this is a great introduction to one of the special musicians in jazz.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Philip G. Pryor on June 11, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A magnificent taste of art in motion, created by an individual who still inspires and teaches. Rahsaan was an amazing thinker, seeing through sound, sensitive to his nation's problems of race. He overcame so much, moving, inventing, creating, performing, teaching, befriending and spending himself entirely in the exhausting quest to manifest his inner heart in art. He's gone but never forgotten as we are lucky to have these little gems. In life we rarely see but disbelieve, rarely smile and cry inside at the same time. Rahsaan is up with other giant achievers, those jazz individuals who expressed their own art while instructing by force of example in creativity. Ellington, Armstrong, Parker, younger Miles and Coltrane, Mingus, so many others, gave us the love of listening and the will to play, sing, compose listen and aim at inner peace and greater understanding. Rahsaan lives for me; I played two saxes, not so well but joyously, since 1964, after hearing of him(not any actual sound) and reading in Downbeat magazine. I found I could hear riffs and phrases at least, could aim to expand thought, and even to stop my fellow musos as they laughed and wondered. Rahsaan may help a new multiple approach to expression in all arts to happen...one day. But there was only one, an under-rated and exquisite performer, full of fun, mischief, bold concepts, social awareness and unique skills. He gave the impression of such assurance, I don't recall a mistake, a notable flaw, a pause of self-doubt. So good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pablus on October 28, 2008
Format: DVD
Yes!!!!! from all the Kirk's released footages, this is the DVD, great images, good restoration and audio!!!
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Jazz Icons: Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Live in '63 and 67
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