Bright Moments

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The first bioghraphy of the legendary jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, establishes once and for all the brilliant multi-instrumentalist's place n the pantheon of Jazz giants.

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2000 Hardcover Fair Ex-library. Binding solid. copy. Covers clean with minimal wear. Text contains no apparent markings Light interior markings. Good reading copy. Light wear. ... All items shipped to US include delivery confirmation. Thanks for looking! Read more Show Less

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2000 Hardcover Good Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not ... include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority! Read more Show Less

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Overview

The first bioghraphy of the legendary jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, establishes once and for all the brilliant multi-instrumentalist's place n the pantheon of Jazz giants.

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Editorial Reviews

Joshua Klein
From his unique talent to his imposing name, Rahsaan Roland Kirk sounds more like some sort of mythic figure than a mere jazz legend, which makes Bright Moments, John Kruth's biography of Kirk, extremely welcome: This story really needs to be read to be believed. Born in Ohio, the blind Roland Kirk quickly took to music, and it was immediately clear that his keen ear could get a handle on sounds no one else could hear. Kirk would pick up any instrument he could get his hands on, quickly mastering it and immediately incorporating it into his live sets and songs. Though adept at both the trumpet and flute, Kirk was notorious for playing three saxophones at once, a feat of virtuosity that initially got him labeled a novelty; in fact, after a stroke at 39, Kirk even learned how to play one-handed. But as Kruth reveals in his simple and straightforward book, musicians as varied as Quincy Jones, Charles Mingus, Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, and even Jimi Hendrix heard and acknowledged Kirk's compositional genius and memorable technique. Kruth spoke with dozens of Kirk's friends and family members while researching Bright Moments, gleaning some great anecdotes (Kirk was once mistakenly detained for attempting to hijack a plane) and demonstrating the magnitude of his untimely death in 1977 at 41. Most intriguingly, Kruth was given access to Kirk's tape-recorded notes, intended for a future autobigraphy. Given what Miles Davis and Mingus eventually dreamed up in their own infamous books, you can only guess what Kirk--equally eccentric and given to long, almost philosophical rants during his shows--would have written had he lived long enough to document his own fascinating life. It surely would have been more colorful than Kruth's perhaps excessively respectful tome, which often gets by on the basis of its subject rather than its writing. But, for the time being, Bright Moments should suit fans just fine.
Onion AV Club
Library Journal
Kruth, a musician and journalist, has written the first full-length biography of multi-instrumental jazz icon Kirk (1936-77). Using dozens of interviews and a just-unearthed audio autobiography narrated by Kirk, Kruth traces Kirk's life from his childhood in Columbus, OH, to his mid-career vocal black-power stance, to his debilitating stroke and premature death in the mid-1970s. Throughout, Kruth highlights Kirk's pioneering efforts--such as his reintroduction of the stritch and manzello saxophones and his innovative circular breathing that enabled him to play several instruments simultaneously. Though he sometimes overstates Kirk's admittedly prodigious talents, Kruth offers a revealing biography that captures a complex jazz artist. He portrays Kirk as an original steeped in tradition, open to all types of sound but critical of rock'n'roll, a jolly prankster who humiliated his audiences, and a serious jazz player who destroyed chairs as part of his stage act. This engaging biography about an often-neglected talent will be welcomed by general readers as well as jazz scholars.--David P. Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Mark Odegard
This hip-talking biography...will convince readers that Charlie Mingus was right: "This man is what jazz is all about."
The Utne Reader
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566491051
  • Publisher: Welcome Rain Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2000
  • Pages: 404
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.33 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2000

    Interesting, but should be better.

    The book is too dependent on the comments of a multitude of people variously associated with Kirk, from his last wife to insignificant hangers-on. The result is fragmented, repetitive, and fails to give us the subject in three-dimensions. The effect is to reduce the '5000 Lb. Man' to a 10 Lb. cardboard cutout. While decrying the historical tendency for Kirk to be obscured by his own mythology, the author is guilty of the same failing. Kirk deserves better, but I would still recommend it with the above caveats. The mythology IS fascinating. And, finally, while Kirk may indeed be a difficult subject, that's the challenge to which biographers must rise.

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