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Roland Kirk/Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Domino [Japan]

Album Reviews:

Mojo (Publisher) (3/01, p.109) - "The magnificently maverick Kirk is never less than engaging....These 1962 sessions have an intelligence and craft [that] is palpable..."

Album Notes

Personnel: Roland Kirk (tenor saxophone, stritch, manzello, flute, nose flute, whistle); Andrew Hill (piano, celeste); Herbie Hancock, Wynton Kelly (piano); Vernon Martin (bass); Henry Duncan, Roy Haynes (drums).

Producer: Jack Tracy.

Reissue producer: Brian Koniarz.

Engineers include: Tommy Nola.

Recorded at Nola Recording Studio, New York, New York on April 17 & 18, 1962 and at Ter-Mar Studio, Chicago, Illinois on September 6, 1962. Includes liner notes by John Kruth and Joe Segal.

Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Kevin Reeves.

This is part of the Verve Master Edition series.

Recording information: 04/17/1962-09/06/1962.

The expanding musical universe of Rahsaan Roland Kirk continues its orbit on Domino. While always true to his exceptional talents, Kirk's previous efforts are somewhat derivative when compared to his later and more aggressive sound. On Domino, the genesis of his more assertive presence is thoroughly evident. Additionally, this disc features several impressive originals, as well as the most distinctly branded cover tunes to date, including the intense bop of the title track. As evidenced throughout the album, Kirk's compositions are becoming denser and more involved. "Meeting on Termini's Corner" -- an ode to the legendary Five Spot club -- mimics the off-kilter rhythms of Thelonious Monk. The tenor sax solo that rises through his multi-instrumentation is stunning. The contrast between the lilting flute work, which bookends "Domino," and the stirring tenor sax solo at the center is yet again indicative of the boundaries Kirk would be approaching. However, it's the Latin-tinged "Rolando" that might best display the unmistakably singular sound that comes from the stritch -- a Kirk modified second generation B flat soprano sax -- and the tenor sax, when performed simultaneously. The warmth and clarity are at once unique and hypnotic. Another prime example of the multiplicity in Kirk's performance styles can be heard on "I Believe in You." The juxtaposition of the husky tenor with the spry manzello provides a false sense of balance as Kirk delays combining the two until the final chorus. This produces a surprising and memorable effect, as Kirk's arrangement does not anticipate the finale. The 2000 CD reissue contains both recording dates for the original album as well as a previously undocumented session that includes Herbie Hancock(piano), Roy Haynes (drums), and Vernon Martin (bass). Additionally, Domino was the first album to feature Kirk's live band of Haynes, Andrew Hill (celeste/piano), and Henry Duncan (percussion) on several tracks. ~ Lindsay Planer


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