Editors’ Notes Rahsaan Roland Kirk was on a roll in the early '70s, releasing a string of audaciously inventive LPs at such a clip it seemed that the saxophonist must never leave the studio. Unreleased until 1996, this album documents Kirk’s appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival on June 24, 1972. While his spaced-out studio detours always retained a gritty sensibility, I, Eye, Aye emphasized the soil at the heart of his wild sound. The band slides into a graceful, yearning version of “Seasons,” anchored by the interplay between Kirk’s lung-driven flute and the tubby bass playing of Henry “Pete” Pearson. For “Balm In Gilead,” Kirk’s clarinet hangs over the silenced festival crowd like a crane’s cry over a deserted cotton field. Things really heat up with “Volunteered Slavery,” in which the muscular musicians call each other to arms with an improvised chant, ignited by percussionist Joe Habad Texidor, whose tambourine evokes the titular chains. Things get greasier and groovier in the last third of the performance, until Kirk levitates the entire audience with an ascendant reading of “Pedal Up.” The listener has no choice but to stay until the very last note has rung out.

1
0:38
 
2
10:34
 
3
1:12
 
4
7:05
 
5
10:20
 
6
0:24
 
7
9:04
 
8
4:19
 
9
3:28
 
10
6:11
 

More by Roland Kirk

You Might Also Like