2 albums' worth of rare early work from Roland Kirk – back to back on one CD! First up is the classic Third Dimension set for Bethlehem – a record that's not as groundbreaking as later sessions, but still filled with fire and imagination, and proof that the famous blind player was a genius even at an early age! Kirk plays alto, tenor, and soprano – and on all tracks, he plays them in his unique "3-in-1" style, in which he's actually blowing all horns at the same time! The result is an incredible sound, unlike anyone else we can think of – and it's an amazingly raw tone that still swings very hard. Players include Jimmy Madison, Carlu Pruitt, and Hank Duncan – and titles include "Triple Threat
", "Slow Groove", "Roland's Theme", and "A La Carte". Next up is Introducing Roland Kirk – recorded in 1960 for Argo/
Chess – and a heck of a smoker with a very unusual sound! The session features Roland with a Chicago group that includes Ira Sullivan on trumpet, Don Garrett on bass, and Ron Burton on both piano and organ – the latter of which gives Kirk's playing a very different feel than usual – a bit more soul jazz and gutbuckety than on the later Mercury recordings. In fact, given Roland's use of many different reed instruments (tenor, manzello, stritch, and whistle – all often played at the same time!) – there's almost a Yusef Lateef quality to the album, at last in the style of some of Lateef's more hardbop sides for Prestige at the time. Kirk's tone, as always, is amazing – with that really spacious feel he gets from playing more than one horn at once! Titles include some great originals, like "The Call", "Soul Station", and "Spirit Girl" – plus "Our Waltz" and "Jack The Ripper".