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).