Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Roland Kirk, Circular Breathing, and Amazement

Roland Kirk plays, "I Want to Talk About You," a piece earlier done beautifully by John Coltrane. Kirk was blind since a young age and often played several reed instruments at once. He could be his own horn section. This is why he looks like he just got off the airplane--loaded down with equipment. On this piece, he sticks to the tenor. He plays most of the ballad without stopping to breathe. This is done by using a technique called circular breathing, and Kirk was the master of it. So, be initiated into the strange world of Roland Kirk (d. 1977).

3 comments:

Paul said...

Yes...Kirk was a legend. Also, check out Oden Pope, among the other great tenor players who breathe tautologically!

david said...

Love it! I still don't know how he can play 3 reed instruments at once. That's some serious chops!

Jeremy said...

You know who else knows how to do circular breathing? Kenny G! Now that's real jazz, man. :)