Jazz musicians count a lot of freaks in their ranks. The most eccentric of them all might be Roland Kirk, and this could be his most far-out recording.
Three-Sided Dream is a concept album, the only true jazz concept album. In jazz, there were many album-length suites (eg. Duke's late 50's LPs) and thematic song collections (eg. Sinatra's "Songs for Swingin' Lovers"), but this is a concept album in a rock sense - united on many different levels, from the artwork and album presentation to the aural snippets joining the songs.
It is well-known that Kirk was very receptive to ideas that came to him in dreams; the most famous one is his trademark ability to play three horns at once. This LP is Kirk's tribute to his source of inspiration - his dreams. There are attempts to represent his dreams "in audio color", as the title would have it - surrealistic conversation bits, musique concrete snippets etc.
The physical presentation of the album is also a part of the concept: Three-Sided Dream is a double LP, but only three sides have music on them, the fourth is a blank 12-minute track with ~30 seconds of conversation at the very end. Each of the three sides is bookended with "Dreams". Unfortunately, digital presentation does not preserve these things.
There are two different versions for each of the tunes, The Entertainer even bearing it in the title ("done in the style of..."). I guess this is an attempt to represent transformations of the familiar pieces in dreams. BTW, Freaks For The Festival is a reworking of Kirk's signature piece "Three for the Festival", named so for the three-horns-at-once theme.
Many of the things Kirk does here would be considered gimmicks by the "real jazzmen" - like tampering with the physical format of the record. So, the aesthetic sensibility is more rock than jazz. But the music itself is pure jazz - electrified and funky, but still real jazz, not fusion or 70s-Miles-style avantgarde.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - The Case of the Three-Sided Dream in Audio Color, 1975
95mb on megaupload or badongo
2. Bye Bye Blackbird
4. High Heel Sneakers
6. Echoes Of Primitive Ohio And Chili Dogs
7. The Entertainer (Done In The Style Of The Blues)
8. Freaks For The Festival
10. Portrait Of Those Beautiful Ladies
12. The Entertainer
15. Portrait Of Those Beautiful Ladies
17. Freaks For The Festival
19. Bye Bye Blackbird