After going blind by age 2 due to poor medical treatment, Ronald “Rahsaan Roland” Kirk went on to forge a career as one of the most innovative, influential, and exciting jazz instrumentalists in history. He made a name for himself modifying his instruments to support his technique of playing three saxophones simultaneously. Later on he added the flute and the nose flute, as well as a whistle. Though leading his own bands for much of his career, Kirk did have stints with several other artists, including bassist Charles Mingus and famed producer Quincy Jones. During his stint recording with Quincy Jones, Kirk recorded what would later become a flute solo that epitomized late 90’s popular culture when the Austin Powers franchise used Jones’ Soul Bossa Nova as a theme. Rahsaan Roland Kirk was the flute soloist on the track.
One of Kirk’s most famous and exciting solo recordings is Three for a Festival, which features him playing an array of instruments. You can view it below.
To learn more about Rahsaan Roland Kirk, you can visit a biographical fan site at rahsaanrolandkirk.net.