Some of the coolest, hippest albums Roland Kirk ever recorded – Slightly Latin, Now Please Don't You Cry Beautiful Edith, I Talk With The Spirits, and Rip Rig & Panic – each very different in their own way, and a key part of his great leap forward in the 60s! The box features four heavy vinyl albums, with detailed booklet with rare photos and notes – and the whole package is very limited too! Slightly Latin is one of the maddest Roland Kirk albums of all time! The title says "Slightly Latin", but it's more of a mixed-up blend of orchestrations and voices, plus Exotica tinges – with Roland playing some very off-kilter reed solos on flute and various saxes. The sound is incredible, and the arrangements are incredibly strange – and the album sounds like nothing that Kirk (or anyone else) has ever done. Now Please Don't You Cry Beautiful Edith is Roland Kirk's only session for Verve, and a record cut with a slightly different feel than some of his work for Mercury
or Atlantic. The core group's an unusual one – a quartet that features a young Lonnie Smith on piano, plus Ronnie Boykins on bass and Grady Tate on drums – all free-thinking talents that are enough to match the whimsy of Kirk's own playing on tenor, flute, stritch, and manzello – but also strong enough jazz players to hold tight during the straighter jazz moments of the set. I Talk With The Spirits is one of Roland Kirk's moodiest albums – and a record that really helped him find a big new audience in the 60s. The approach here is a bit different than some of Kirk's more bombastic jazz albums from previous years – gentle, and almost spiritual at times – thanks to heavy use of flute, which Kirk explores with a deeply personal tone – easing out gentle lines that really foreshadow the use of the instrument in the post-Coltrane generation. The record has a dark somber tone at times, and a sweetly redemptive one at others. Rip Rig & Panic is a record that really pushes the boundaries of his music even farther than some of his earlier, and excellent, albums for the Mercury
label! Kirk's really stretching out here – finding a space in jazz that's uniquely his own – modern, yet playful – creative, yet never overindulgent – and perfectly balanced to find a whole new sound of soul for the 60s! Things never get too far outside, but Kirk's reedlines are always breaking out into fresh territory – incredible tenor parts, and also some amazing work on manzello and stritch too, both lesser-known reed instruments that Roland employs to incredible ends.