Mojo (Publisher) (p.118) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] satisfying, blues-soaked studio date featuring the Hammond organ hero, Jack McDuff."
Personnel: Roland Kirk (tenor sax, manzello, strich, flute, siren); Jack McDuff (Hammond organ); Joe Benjamin (bass); Arthur Taylor (drums).
Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on July 11, 1961. Originally released on Prestige (7210). Includes original liner notes by Joe Goldberg.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley).
Multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk (he added the Rahsaan in 1969) was so noted for playing a variety of instruments--often several at once--that sessions where he limits himself to one type of instrument, like this 1963 date, sound somewhat odd at first. Even while playing nothing but woodwinds, Kirk easily sidesteps the usual pitfalls of the all-woodwinds album, most often a certain limp treacliness. This is due in large part to an undeniably funky backing trio powered by the brilliant organist Jack McDuff, but Kirk's own playing is as meaty and impassioned as ever. He opens the set with whirlwind solos on "Three for Dizzy" and continues with the powerful title track and "Funk Underneath," a track showcasing bassist Joe Benjamin and drummer Arthur Taylor that forecasts the soul jazz of the late '60s. Even an utterly unironic cover of "The Skater's Waltz" escapes lightweightness.