Rahsaan Rahsaan

7 August 1935 – 5 December 1977

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was one of the great originals of jazz. His fondness for unorthodox techniques and his battery of bizarre instruments, many of them self-made or self-modified, and frequently played simultaneously, were not the gimmicks of a freak-show huckster but the true expression of a naturally boundless musical imagination. A fine saxophonist and flautist, Kirk melded straight-ahead jazz, funky soul, whimsy and protest into a unique whole. The particular appeal of this genial revolutionary is most immediate on the album I Talk With the Spirits. Colourful and sweet, it is the only jazz record I know that communicates a wonder that is childlike.

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