This CD presents two original RCA/Bluebird albums from 1956: "George Russell Smalltet!" (1956) paired with "Hal McKusick’s Jazz Workshop" plus 4 Bonus Tracks. One of the most important and influential composers, arrangers, theorists and conductors in contemporary jazz, this release includes the three different 1956 sessions that mark George Russell’s complete recording legacy with Bluebird as a leader. In addition to these dates, this CD also includes the two different sessions set under the leadership of alto saxophonist and flautist Hal McKusick with compositions and arrangements by George Russell as bonus tracks. All recorded in New York City.
THE COMPLETE BLUEBIRD RECORDINGS gathers 18 1956 sessions by experimental jazz composer and pianist George Russell, featuring performances by pianist Bill Evans, drummer Art Farmer, reedsman Hal McKusick and bassist Paul Motian.
THE COMPLETE REMASTERED RECORDINGS ON BLACK SAINT & SOUL NOTE is a monographic box-set collection aimed at recounting the most beautiful chapters that revolutionised the history of jazz.
This new series was launched in March 2010 with the simultaneous release of four box-sets, including albums by some of the artists who participated in the success of the outstanding labels. A philological work, beginning with the original recordings on multi-track master tapes, patiently integrally remastered paying strict attention to the sound quality.
The use of multiphonics in jazz has been mastered by very few players, and while at times shrill and thin, can be enlivening and exciting. Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Albert Mangelsdorff set the gold standard, while several trumpeters like Rayse Biggs and Corey Wilkes have tried it with two brass instruments, and contemporary saxophonist Jeff Coffin gives it ago. George Braith holds a singularly unique place in the pantheon of these stylistas, following the path of Kirk in playing two saxophones while combining bop and soul-jazz. This set represents the complete works of Braith on Blue Note in 1963 and 1964 from the albums Two Souls in One, Soul Stream, and Extension.
A centerpiece for the dedicated New Orleans collector, this begins with Lewis' "Climax Rag" session in 1943 and ranges through a variety of studio and concert performances ending 12 years later – definitely some of the clarinetist's best work (1943-1944, 1954-1955).
George Russell's The African Game is a major statement, a highly eclectic, nine-part, 45-minute suite for augmented big band that attempts to depict no less than the evolution of the species from the beginning of time to the present from an African perspective. Well, yes, this theme has been taken on by many an ambitious artist in every field, but Russell's work is remarkably successful because it tries to embrace a massive world of sound in open, colorful, young-thinking terms, with degrees of timbral unity and emotion to keep the idioms from flying out of control. ~ AllMusic
Originally issued on the Norwegian Sonet label in 1971 and later re-released on Soul Note (without "Concerto for Self-Accompanied Guitar"), The Essence Of… contained George Russell's first large-scale work to incorporate electronic elements from contemporary classical music as well as an emerging influence of modern rock.