Rahsaan Roland Kirk was one of the most charismatic performers to grace this planet. He was a dynamic musician, a provative raconteur, and a rhyming fool. The man was blind and played music which brought on The Light.
Rahsaan was born in Columbus, Ohio on August 8, 1936. At the age of six he tried to get music out of a water hose. He was educated at the Ohio School for the Blind and gigged extensively in Ohio in his youth. When he was sixteen years old the idea of playing three instruments at once came to him in a dream. He made the dream real and learned to play harmony and counterpoint with himself. During his career he mastered over forty instruments including tenor sax, manzello, stritch, flute, nose flute, and clarinet. In 1975, he suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed on one side of his body. He had his instruments rebuilt so he could play them with one hand. Two years later another stroke killed his other side. He died on December 5, 1977 in Indianapolis, Indiana [see related post], leaving only his Spirit to carry on his work.
Rahsaan studied in the school of Mingus and was a master of the musical avant-garde. He was also a master of the complete history of jazz styles and insisted on playing that full range. He was an educator and an instigator, a jivometric syncopater.
This suite is in his honor. It consists of the "raps" of Rahsaan himself, graphic illumination by Bill Benzon. and a piece by Tom Rossen who gives us a live and in the flesh report of Rahsaan at the Village Vangate (it was one of those 2 well-known village "V" clubs 3 decades ago, he just can't remember which one).
Next, it's your turn. In the Spirit of Rahsaan, enter the Meandering's Bright Moments Contest by telling us your favorite Bright Moment and win a set of Rahsaan Roland Kirk Compact Disks.
Finally, we have a few notes on how this tribute was put together.
The best way to view the suite is to go straight through in order. However, if you just want to skip around, just use the menu below.
Jivometric Images #1
RRK: Clickety Clack
Jivometric Images #2
RRK: Baby Let Me Shake Your Tree
Jivometric Images #3
RRK: Bright Moments
Jivometric Images #4
Check Out the Contest Entries
Rahsaan and the Mann by Tom Rossen