Sunday, May 5, 2013

Roland Kirk on Mercury/Limelight/Smash (1961/65)

Rahsaan Roland Kirk's nearly one-dozen long-players on the Mercury Records family of labels -- including the Smash and Limelight subsidiaries -- are gathered on this massive ten-disc compilation. Actually, it is 11 discs if you count the surprise bonus CD. Additionally, Rahsaan: The Complete Mercury Recordings of Roland Kirk lives up to its name by augmenting those albums with more than two-dozen previously unissued sides. Kirk's thoroughly innovative multi-instrumental reed work caught the attention of legendary producer Quincy Jones, then the vice-president of Mercury Records, who signed Kirk and would later arrange and conduct orchestrations for several of his memorable sessions. Perhaps the most recognizable among them is "Soul Bossa Nova" which is heavily featured in the Austin Powers franchise. Kirk's ability to perform several reed instruments -- including the tenor, flute, clarinet, manzello, and stritch -- simultaneously allowed him a musical autonomy few instrumentalists are afforded. His youthful embrace of the R&B, soul, pop, and eventually rock genres produced swinging interpretations of "And I Love Her" and "Walk on By," among others. Regardless of the genre, however, Kirk's ability to Swing -- with a capitol "S" -- is imprinted upon every piece he performed. Although Kirk continued his prolific output on Atlantic records in the late '60s and '70s, arguably his most profound sides are included here. We Free Kings, Domino, Reeds and Deeds, Gifts and Messages, I Talk with the Spirits and Rip, Rig & Panic are offered in their entirety. Undoubtedly the centerpiece of Kirk's work for the label is the live Kirk in Copenhagen, which features some wicked harp blowing from blues legend "Sonny Boy" Williamson, aka Big Skol. It is only fitting that this album benefits so greatly from inclusion on this set. The original six sides have been supplemented with an additional ten to present the entire October '63 performance, now complete at an hour and 45 minutes. Rahsaan: The Complete Mercury Recordings of Roland Kirk is complimented visually with a 56-page information packed booklet that includes : complete discographical and recording session logs, as well individual essays for each disc. Although not for the light of funds, this is truly the best way to become immersed in these early works of Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
Lindsay Planer

Source :

Rahsaan Roland Kirk
The Complete Mercury Recordings of Roland Kirk


Cd. 1

1 Blues for Alice [previously unissued take] (Parker) 5:14
2 Blues for Alice (Parker) 4:09
3 My Delight (Kirk) 4:30
4 The Haunted Melody (Kirk) 3:40
5 A Sack Full of Soul (Kirk) 4:40
6 We Free Kings (Kirk) 4:48
7 Spring Will Be a Little LateThis Year
[previously released alt. t or only issued as single]
(Loesser) 4:08
8 Moon Song (Coslow, Johnston) 4:23
9 Some Kind of Love (Kirk) 6:12
10 Three for the Festival (Kirk) 3:10
11 You Did It, You Did It (Kirk) 2:27


Cd. 2

1 Get Out of Town (Porter) 4:53
2 Rolando (Kirk) 3:49
3 I Believe in You (Loesser) 4:29
4 Where Monk and Mingus Live/Let's Call This
[previously released alt. t or only issued as single]
(Kirk, Monk) 4:10
5 Domino (Ferrari, Plante, Raye) 4:07
6 E.D. (Kirk) 2:25
7 I Didn't Know What Time It Was (Hart, Rodgers) 2:19
8 Someone to Watch over Me [previously released alt. t or only issued as single] (Gershwin, Gershwin) 3:45
9 Termini's Corner [previously unissued take] (Kirk) 2:21
10 When the Sun Comes Out [previously unissued take] (Arlen, Koehler) 2:45
11 Ad Lib (Hip Chops) [previously unissued take] (Kirk) 0:27
12 Stitt's Tune (Stitt) 9:59
13 I See With My Third "I" (Kirk) 9:33
14 Medley: If I Had You/Alone Together/For Heaven's Sake (Cambell, Connelly, Dietz, Meyer…) 7:32
15 Afternoon in Paris (Lewis) 5:52
16 Lady "E" (Kirk) 3:20


Cd. 3

1 Meeting on Termini's Corner (Kirk) 3:40
2 Domino (Ferrari, Plante, Raye) 3:14
3 Time (Powell) 3:13
4 3-In-1 Without the Oil (Kirk) 2:35
5 A Stritch in Time (Kirk) 5:06
6 Lament (Johnson) 3:39
7 A Breath in the Wind (Kirk) 5:09
8 Land of Peace (Feather) 5:54
9 Lonesome August Child (Kirk) 4:36
10 Limbo Boat (Kirk) 3:02
11 Hay Ro (Kirk) 3:04
12 Waltz of the Friends (Kirk) 4:39


Cd. 4

1 This Is Always (Gordon, Warren) 4:20
2 Reeds and Deeds (Kirk) 5:20
3 Song of the Countrymen (Kirk) 6:56
4 Ecclusiastics (Mingus) 4:30
5 By Myself (Dietz, Schwartz) 4:23
6 Roland Speaks (Golson, Kirk) 3:07
7 A Nightingale Sang in BerkeleySquare (Maschwitz, Sherwin) 5:16
8 Variations on a Theme of Hindemith (Kirk) 3:30
9 I've Got Your Number (Coleman, Leigh) 5:58
10 Between the Fourth and the Fifth Step (Kirk) 3:43
11 April Morning (Kirk) 3:45
12 Get in the Basement (Kirk) 4:06
13 Abstract Improvisation (Kirk) 1:58


Cd. 5

1 Narrow Bolero [previously unissued take] (Kirk) 8:25
2 Narrow Bolero (Kirk) 6:43
3 My Heart Stood Still [previously unissued take] (Hart, Rodgers) 5:50
4 No Title, No. 1 5:56
5 Mood Indigo [previously unissued take] (Bigard, Ellington, Mills) 7:14
6 Cabin in the Sky (Duke, Latouche) 7:47
7 On the Corner of King and Scott Streets (Kirk) 4:41
8 Untitled Blues [previously unissued take] (Kirk) 6:17


Cd. 6

1 The Monkey Thing (Kirk) 5:56
2 Will You Still Be Mine ? [previously unissued take] (Adair, Dennis) 8:40
3 One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)
[previously unissued take]
(Arlen, Mercer) 3:54
4 We'll Be Together Again (Fischer, Laine) 5:21
5 Mingus-Griff Song (Kirk) 8:38
6 Mood Indigo (Bigard, Ellington, Mills) 6:52
7 Medley: Rock-A-Bye Baby/Nearness of You/No Title No. 3
[previously unissued take] (Carmichael, Washington) 12:35
8 Half a Triple [previously unissued take] (Kirk) 4:53


Cd. 7

1 Japan [previously unissued take] 3:05
2 Japan [previously unissued take] 3:10
3 Japan [previously unissued take] 3:08
4 Berkshire Blues [previously released alt. t or only issued as single] (Weston) 2:48
5 Dirty Money Blues [previously released alt. t or only issued as single] 3:44
6 Dirty Money Blues [previously unissued take] 3:45
7 Ad Lib (Hip Chops) [previously unissued take] (Kirk) 3:09
8 The Things I Love (Barlow, Harris) 3:15
9 Petite Fleur (Bechet) 3:13
10 March on, Swan Lake (Kirk) 4:00
11 Tears Sent by You (Fleming) 6:01
12 My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice (Saint-Saens) 3:24
13 Gifts and Messages (Kirk) 4:08
14 Hip Chops (Kirk) 3:35
15 Blues for C & T (Kirk) 3:08
16 Where Does the Blame Lie (Kirk) 2:52
17 Vertigo Ro (Kirk) 4:08
18 Jive Elephant (Kirk) [previously unissued take] 2:55


Cd. 8

1 I Talk With the Spirits (Kirk) 3:57
2 Serenade to a Cuckoo (Kirk) 4:35
3 Medley: We'll Be Together Again/People from "Funny Girl" (Fisher, Laine, Merrill, Styne) 4:42
4 Ruined Castles( Taki) 1:19
5 Trees (Kirk) 6:23
6 Fugue'n and Alludin' (Kirk) 0:44
7 Django (Lewis) 4:51
8 My Ship (Gershwin, Weill) 5:06
9 A Quote from Clifford Brown (Kirk) 4:26
10 The Business Ain't Nothin' But the Blues (Kirk) 5:02


Cd. 9

1 No Tonic Press (Kirk) 4:35
2 From Bechet, Byas and Fats (Kirk) 6:32
3 Slippery, Hippery, Flippery (Kirk) 4:58
4 Black Diamond (Sealey) 5:24
5 Rip, Rig and Panic (Kirk) 7:01
6 Once in a While (Edwards, Green) 4:02
7 Mystical Dream (Kirk) 2:40
8 Walk on By (Bacharach, David) 2:35
9 Juarez (Kirk) 5:28
10 Shaky Money (Kirk) 2:40
11 Ebrauqs (Kirk) 8:27
12 Raouf (Kirk) 3:10
13 Nothing But the Truth (Kirk) 3:39
14 Safari (Mathias) 4:33
15 It's All in the Game (Dawes, Sigman) 5:24
16 And I Love Her (Lennon, McCartney) 3:03


Cd. 10

1 A Taste of Honey (Marlow, Scott) 2:37
2 Dyna-Soar [previously unissued take] (Kirk) 2:38
3 Soul Bossa Nova (Jones) 2:49
4 Comin' Home Baby (Dorough, Tucker) 2:47
5 Days of Wine and Roses (Mancini, Mercer) 2:48
6 Moon River (Mancini, Mercer) 2:37
7 Dreamsville (Evans, Livingston, Mancini) 3:53
8 (I Love You and) Don't You Forget It (Mancini, Stillman) 2:56
9 Charade (Mancini, Mercer) 3:18
10 Peter Gunn Theme (Mancini) 3:01
11 I Had a Ball (Freeman, Lawrence) 5:06
12 Addie's at It Again (Freeman, Lawrence) 5:05


Cd. 11

1 A Stritch in Time (Kirk) 7:05

Featuring Roland Kirk, Richard Wyands, Art Davis, Charlie Persip, Hank Jones, Wendell Marshall, Wynton Kelly, Vernon Martin, Roy Haynes, James Moody, Sam Jones, Louis Hayes, Walter Bishop Jr., Tubby Hayes, Andrew Hill, Harold Mabern, Walter Perkins, Richard Davis, Albert Heath, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Don Moore, J.C. Moses, Tete Montoliu, Horace Parlan, Jaki Byard, Elvin Jones, Joe Montego, etc.

Recorded between August 16, 1961 & November 17, 1965

See the complete artwork


Otis Foster said...

Quite a windfall! Thanks Mel

grumpy said...

Absolutely awesome post, Mel!
I've got most of this on LP,Cd or mp3, but it's wonderful to have it all together in high quality sound. And the complete booklet! You deserve a medal.

jazzfriend said...

Great post Mel.

Como siempre SORPRENDENTE!!!!!

Saludos desde Chile.

ZM-JazzRock said...

fan-tas-ti-que, mon chér Mel!

Philo said...

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Complete Mercury Recordings

Absolutely amazing!

It's just great to have these all remastered & with documentation. It took a lot of work to digitize the booklet.

Thank you.

Kovina Kris said...

I am almost speechless with appreciation for this RR Kirk boxed set Mel. I have been hoping for several years that someday I would see this posted and to get it here means that it will be done as well as humanly possible. Wow! Thank you so very very much. Merci beaucoup!

J said...

Je te remercie. Glad to see you back, and what better way to see in the New Year.

DEEP said...

I've downloaded the Complete Roland Kirk on Mercury but can't open the files. Would you please email me the password?



nice share. I believe that I have all the LPs but it's nice to have this compilation

the doc

Anonymous said...

on me demande un mot de passe?

Sun Ira said...

Yes, thank you so much for this treasure!

L.O.L. said...

Amazing post, Mel. Thank you.

Melanchthon said...

Kneigh said...

WOW, Melanchthon!! This is just one awesome post!! Can't believe I missed it the first time around, but got it now!! Many thanx for this giant treat, as well as all the fine posts I've found at your sites!!

NERIG said...

J'adorais d'écouter ces discs. Avez vous le mot de passe? Merci

jazzfan1 said...

None of the standard passwords work for cd 6 (RRK in Copenhagen).

phil said...

hi there - jazzfan1 is right, nothing seems to work with the usual pw with cd6 - any chance of one that works, please?
many thanks!

phil said...

hi again - trying the usual melanchthon password doesn't want to open cd6 - does anyone have a clue what will work???!!! many thanks

Jodsworth said...

Hi - The links still work, which is so great, but I'm also having trouble decrypting CD6. The regular password here doesn't work. I tried it all caps, capitalizing the first letter, and with a space on either side, just to try a few things. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Nataniel Wolff said...

GRACIAS MEL por tan buen material, saludos desde Argentina

Anonymous said...

Seems links are down now.

Anonymous said...

I recently bought a small box-set, containing the first five Atlantic releases by Roland Kirk. To delve more into Kirks music I appreciate to download the Mercury box. Thank you so much to keep these files alive for a very long time.
Just to let you know. As other comments mentioned before. There is no way to open Part 6. While all parts 1 to 11 are still available, the artwork files are definitively down. Anyway. Thanks for running this blog and for let us take part on your ever growing stream of rare classic recordings.