Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri Jan 30 & Tues Feb 3

Without a doubt, the carnivalesque aspects of Roland Kirk’s presentation—playing two or three horns simultaneously, singing through his flute while sometimes accompanying himself on nose flute, punctuating the end of a solo with his siren, and not incidentally his blindness—had a lot to do with his popularity when he hit the scene in the 1960s, but he wouldn’t have lasted if he hadn’t been such a great and fearless example of a jazz musician who dared all limits down and could blow the bell off any of his horns even when he played them one at a time. I used to see him at the Five Spot when he rotated long gigs with Charles Mingus and Sonny Rollins in his pre-Rahsaan days, before he changed his wildly original but still fairly straight jazz idiom into something more theatrical still, and I found programming about 45 minutes of this music on this week’s Updoc—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Five Spot time—a bout of pure listening pleasure. The pace changes with Sibelius’ 4th Symphony. I’ve been programming the wintry music of Allan Petterson lately, and it seemed time to head for the season’s frozen heart, this time in Osmo Vänskä’s re-recording of it with the Minnesota Orchestra: having done it definitively, once, with the Lahti Orch, he tried to give it something extra this time, and he succeeded. I know the piece well, and seem to be hearing passages that had never crossed my ears before. Updoc chases it with the stunning Lee Konitz Blues for Bird I couldn’t get hold of last week, and chases that with music from Uri Caine, Marilyn Crispell in virtuoso thunder-mode, free improv from Dave Liebman and Bob Moses, and goes to church for a minute with a pentecostal Matana Roberts. The first time I played drums in front of an audience was opposite Roland Kirk’s quartet on a Monday ‘talent night’ at the Village Vanguard, and I remember the noise getting a lot more joyful when he joined us at the end. The tune was Well, You Needn’t, but I was oh so glad we did.RolandKirk

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