Of the eight albums compiled on this Enlightenment box set, five of them belong under Roland Kirk's name as a leader. They include Triple Threat (1956, King), Introducing Roland Kirk (1960, Argo, with Ira Sullivan), Kirk's Work (1961, Prestige, with Jack McDuff), We Free Kings (Mercury, 1961), and Domino (Mercury, 1962). There are also three dates on which he is a featured soloist. Of these, Quincy Jones' Big Band Bossa Nova, while a fine recording, is completely unnecessary in this context. Better is the Roy Haynes Quartet's Out of the Afternoon from Impulse! Records in 1962, with pianist Tommy Flanagan and bassist Henry Grimes. But the best of these non-Kirk-led dates, however, is Tubby Hayes' Tubby's Back in Town, from 1962 on Smash. It placed Kirk in heavy duty company. The British saxophonist/leader plays tenor and vibes, James Moody (as "Jimmy Gloomy") also plays tenor, and the rhythm section features pianist Walter Bishop, Jr., bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Louis Hayes. Kirk plays not only tenor but also manzello, flute, and nose flute, and adds immeasurably to the force and texture of the record. There are 62 tracks on these four discs, and the sound is decent, but not remastered. The set is exceptionally cheap. One thing the consumer should be aware of, however, is that Enlightenment, being a British label, is not bound by the same copyright laws as the United States, and neither the artists nor their estates see compensation from this reissue. ~ Thom Jurek
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Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor; R. Strauss: Burleske in D minor for piano & orchestra / Hélène Grimaud, piano; Zinman
John McLaughlin: Black Light [Slipcase]
Klemperer Conducts Wagner: Overtures, preludes & orchestral interludes / Otto Klemperer, Philharmonia Orch. (stereo, rec. 1960-61)
Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos; The Choral Fantasia / Daniel Barenboim, piano; New Philharmonia Orch., Klemperer (rec. 1967-68)