2 LP on 1 CD
## 1 - 8 A Meeting Of The Times. 1972 Warner Bros. 3*
## 9 - 12 Ornette! 1961 Hi Horse Records. 4*
Your attention please: this duplex reissue disc does not contain two complete albums. One beautiful track - "Something 'Bout Believing," Rahsaan's passionate rendition of a melody from Duke Ellington's Second Sacred Concert of 1968 - was omitted simply because there wasn't room on the disc. And if there wasn't room on the disc for these two classic Atlantic albums, then the producers of the compilation damned well should have chosen another album that would have been a better fit, stylistically and spatially, with A Meeting of the Times, Kirk's amazing collaboration with Duke Ellington's star vocalist, Al Hibbler. This is not to say that the collectively improvised music recorded in 1961 by Ornette Coleman with Don Cherry, Scott LaFaro, and Ed Blackwell doesn't complement Kirk's. Rahsaan verbally acknowledged the discovery of harmolodics during his experiential sermon "The Seeker" on his 1969 album Rahsaan Rahsaan, respectfully including Ornette Coleman in his personal pantheon of "beautiful alto players" alongside Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Charlie Parker, and Eric Dolphy. So the combination of the two albums would work just fine if "Something 'Bout Believing" hadn't been jettisoned. For this there is no excuse. In the original liner notes to A Meeting of the Times, producer Joel Dorn accurately described Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Al Hibbler as "two master surrealists." In addition to the five warm tracks featuring Hibbler's larger than life vocals, Kirk created three masterful tributes to Ellington: "I Didn't Know About You," a lovely ballad deliberately performed in the style of master chalumeau clarinetist Barney Bigard; "Carney and Begard Place" [sic], a Janus-headed portrait of Barney Bigard and Harry Carney during which Kirk simultaneously blows the clarinet and baritone sax; and the aforementioned "Something 'Bout Believing," the omission of which severely mars the conceptual structure of what was essentially Rahsaan's Ellington tribute album. As on the original LP, A Meeting of the Times closes with "Dream," a paean to unacknowledged musical archetypes sung by Leon Thomas (this track was left over from Kirk's 1965 Here Comes the Whistleman album). A complete edition of the amazing Hibbler / Kirk / Ellington album was remastered and reissued on CD for the first time ever in 2004.
All Music Guide