With Blacknuss, it’s as if Kirk is taking listeners on a trip – from the top forty world of Soul Train to the roots of soul in gospel music and back in Africa. It is a remarkable musical-cultural shift in perspective and one that carries the listener with it. Exploding with near chaotic energy, this album makes a great soundtrack to a party about to teeter out of control. Cut all analog!
Dreams run threadlike through the life and mythology of Roland Kirk. In one dream, The Creator spoke to him and told him his name was Rahsaan. In another, he saw himself playing two saxophones at once. Kirk used to say that his religion was the “religion of dreams.”
Blacknuss was his eighth album for Atlantic and eighth with Joel Dorn producing. It is best read as Kirk’s soul album, as a tribute to the continuity of African-American music in all its forms. On the record, Kirk stays very much within the original arrangements of the tunes he covers by Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Temptations, Jackson 5 and others, bearing comparison with the music that King Curtis was also making for Atlantic around this point.
• Cut all analog by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio!
• Pressed on black(nuss) vinyl at Third Man Pressing!
• As deep as a soul record can be and as hot as a jazz record has any right to call itself. – Thom Jurek (4.5 stars on AllMusic)