Roland Kirk: No Tonic Prez (aka No Tonic Press)

Track

No Tonic Prez (aka No Tonic Press)

Artist

Rahsaan Roland Kirk (tenor sax, manzello, stritch, castanets, siren)

CD

Rip, Rig, and Panic / Now Please Donít You Cry, Beautiful Edith (Verve 832164)

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Musicians:

Rahsaan Roland Kirk (tenor sax, manzello, stritch, castanets, siren), Jaki Byard (piano), Richard Davis (bass), Elvin Jones (drums).

Composed by Roland Kirk

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Recorded: Englewood, NJ, January 13, 1965

Albumcoverrolandkirk-riprigandpanic-nowpleasedontyoucrybeautifuledith

Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

As the song's creator states, this blues-based form is an extension of a Lester Young riff that has no "tonic," or clear key resolution. Powered by the familiar rolling thunder of Elvin Jones's kit work, Kirk's tenor nimbly mixes in long notes with rapid-fire trips up and down the scales. Jaki Byard's mid-song stride-piano interlude punctuated by Kirk's whistle siren is sheer delight. Kirk returns again with a pocket solo that recalls Young, Coleman and a little bit of Parker, while sounding not firmly like anyone but himself. "No Tonic Prez" is a 4Ĺ-minute gumbo that reheats vintage ingredients to create something thoroughly modern.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron

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