Tracks from three recently discovered 1960’s concerts, by the celebrated arranger, pianist & experimental theorist, George Russell, released here for the very first time - and from the same period as his famous “Ezz-Thetics” album (1961) with Eric Dolphy. Included are new versions of the Russell classics: “Stratusphunk” and “The Outer View”.
Remastered in 24-bit from the original master tapes. Part of our Keepnews Collection, which spotlights classic albums originally produced by the legendary and arguably the most respected of all jazz producers, Orrin Keepnews. George Russell is listed in the Encyclopedia of Jazz as "composer, piano, educator" and all of these are accurate descriptions of this dynamic musical revolutionary.
George Russell has been an important and innovative contributor to contemporary jazz ever since he wrote for Dizzy Gillespie's first Carnegie Hall concert in the Forties. He remains a most highly regarded composer, bandleader, and theoretician (the "Lydian" concept) both in the United States and in Europe, where he lived and worked for a number of years. In the Sixties, he formed a unique small group that rather amazingly combined "outside" experimentation and firmly-rooted funk (the personnel included, at times, Eric Dolphy and Don Ellis). The aptly-named Stratusphunk was the first of his four albums for Riverside; in addition to some notable Russell compositions, it features an early work by Carla Bley.
Composer George Russell's early-'60s Riverside recordings are among his most accessible. For this set (the CD reissue adds an alternate take of the title cut to the original program), Russell and his very impressive sextet (which is comprised of trumpeter Don Ellis, trombonist Garnett Brown, Paul Plummer on tenor, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Pete La Roca) are challenged by the complex material; even Charlie Parker's blues "Au Privave" is transformed into something new. It is particularly interesting to hear Don Ellis this early in his career. The most famous selection, a very haunting version of "You Are My Sunshine," was singer Sheila Jordan's debut on records.
This is a true classic. Composer/pianist George Russell gathered together a very versatile group of talents (trumpeter Don Ellis, trombonist Dave Baker, Eric Dolphy on alto and bass clarinet, bassist Steve Swallow, and drummer Joe Hunt) to explore three of his originals, "'Round Midnight" (which is given an extraordinary treatment by Dolphy), Miles Davis' "Nardis," and David Baker's "Honesty." The music is post-bop and although using ideas from avant-garde jazz, it does not fall into any simple category. The improvising is at a very high level and the frameworks (which include free and stop-time sections) really inspire the players. Highly recommended.
This CD release contains the outstanding studio album George Russell Sextet in K.C. in its entirety. The session was recorded in New York and features some of the compositions that the sextet was asked to play in the course of a two week engagement at a club called the Blue Room in Kansas City.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. This is the music that will be playing when you die and go to heaven. Excellent original style Dixieland, George's clarinet is heaven! I don't know if any record can do justice to the live experience of the original giants of jazz creating this stuff. But the George Lewis tracks on this record come pretty close! For this alone this CD is well worth buying.
Orrin’s commentary (from his new liner notes): “I began constructing the 1960 definitive presentation of [Wes] Montgomery by recognizing the need to keep things as clear-cut and uncomplicated as possible. There were at least three unique aspects to his performing style: he played with his thumb, never using a pick… and his solos almost invariably included two elements routinely referred to as ‘impossible’—his use of octaves and of pianistic block chords. Self-taught (his first ‘lesson’ had involved heavy listening to Charlie Christian records) and never able to read music notation of any kind, he somehow possessed an unfailing command of the blues and of ballad tempo and was an impressive composer.”