Blues For Alice – 1967

Rahsaan Roland Kirk


A boppish performance by the unique Rahsaan

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Throughout his career, Rahsaan Roland Kirk regularly did the impossible, whether playing three horns at once, creating 20-minute solos on one breath, or showing that he had mastered virtually every jazz style.

On this performance from the 1967 Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway, Kirk performs a swinging version of Charlie Parker’s “Blues For Alice.”

With a fine solo from pianist Ron Burton, and support from bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen and drummer Alex Riel, Kirk plays somewhat conventionally, at least for him.

He plays the melody on both tenor and manzello (which sounds similar to a soprano sax), takes an excellent solo on tenor (where his main influence was Johnny Griffin), riffs on both of the horns behind Burton’s spot, and trades off with Riel before the closing melody.

As usual, Rahsaan Roland Kirk makes it all look easy, but who else can sound so spontaneous playing two horns at once?

-Scott Yanow


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