Roland Kirk: Slippery, Hippery, Flippery


Slippery, Hippery, Flippery


Rahsaan Roland Kirk (tenor sax, electronically altered prerecorded sounds)


Rip, Rig & Panic / Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith (Verve 832164)

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Rahsaan Roland Kirk (tenor sax, electronically altered prerecorded sounds), Jaki Byard (piano), Richard Davis (bass), Elvin Jones (drums).

Composed by Roland Kirk.


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, January 13, 1965


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

"Some of the sounds I made with my horn. The rhythm section was playing free. Some of the tape sounds I got around the house wind chimes, my voice amplified, the baby hollering. I slowed down some of the sounds, then played them all together. The head is written off a computer; I used the cycle of notes from a computer I once heard to make the line." That's pre-Rahsaan Roland Kirk in 1965, describing this track. Yes, 1965. The elaborate packaging of the original Limelight vinyl release of Rip, Rig & Panic, with its foldouts and cutouts, and creative graphics, photography and artwork, made this music seem even more cutting edge when it came out. The title of this piece refers to "chicks" who are either hip to, or put jazz down, depending on the setting and "who they're with."

Kirk never again recorded with a rhythm section of this high quality. Kirk's modified sounds mix with his free-wheeling tenor to launch the tune, Jones' clanging cymbals and emphatic tom-tom accents competing for attention with distorted baby cries and wind chimes. The modal theme consists of two alternating sets of tone rows, each played twice in succession. Kirk's riveting, focused solo gradually builds in intensity, supported by Byard's careening lines and crashing two-handed sprays of notes, as Jones accelerates the pace and density of his attack. Byard's improv is typically exploratory, forging a path that borrows fruitfully from various styles of jazz piano. The masterful engineering of Rudy Van Gelder gives all this a distinctive, eerily seductive sound.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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