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Gary Burton on the Mothers/Rahsaan Roland Kirk jam  
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pbuzby
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Post 2013-12-25 00:51   [Quote] 
Just got Gary Burton's book Learning To Listen. Very good book and it contains his thoughts on the time he and Rahsaan Roland Kirk sat in with the Mothers.

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One night, at a jazz festival in Florida, [Zappa] invited me and Roland Kirk, the blind saxophonist, to join the Mothers for some on-stage jamming. Frank had high aspirations for what we could accomplish without any rehearsal. He had some complicated music on hand, which I looked at but knew I couldn't sight-read. Roland, of course, couldn't use written music at all. In addition, Frank had worked out an elaborate system of cues and hand signals, letting him direct his band to do things that didn't appear in the writter parts, such as changing time signatures or tempos or keys; of course, these signals wouldn't mean anything to Roland either. So, in spite of almost an hour's discussion about the two pieces we would play, it all turned to chaos as soon as we got under way. Frank was constantly signalling to the band and to me, but I couldn't keep up with whatever he intended, and Roland was just in his own world. All this took place in a jai-alai palace, with acoustics resembling the Grand Canyon, somewhere in the Miami suburbs. I've always wondered what people must have thought that night. I certainly never understood any of it, but I suspect Zappa probably did; he was a kind of genius.
(pg. 168-9)
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brainpang
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Post 2013-12-25 02:38   [Quote] 
damn, thanks pb. Makes me want to hear it even more. bp
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HughGotIt
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Post 2013-12-25 06:03   [Quote] 
Very interesting stuff.
Thanks, pbuzby.

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blackpage
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Post 2013-12-26 00:11   [Quote] 
thanks Pat, interesting.
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