[JPL] Eric Jackson/George Russell

Eric Jackson eric-jackson at comcast.net
Thu Jul 20 08:04:44 EDT 2006


On Thursday 20 July 2006 02:22, Dick LaPalm wrote:

> George Russell's Knights Of The Steamtable, Round Johnny Rondo, Night
> Sound, and Concerto For Billy The Kid are but a few of his
> masterpieces!  The latter includes one of Bill Evans's most remarkable
> solos on record.  Sadly, Russell remains one of the most unheralded
> figures in Jazz History.  He was brilliant.   Dick LaPalm

George is still with us. He has been on the faculty at New England 
Conservatory in Boston for 35 years. He plays several concerts a year with 
student ensembles here in town but it's a pretty impressive list of folks who 
have been his students. He has always been more popular in Europe. Many of 
his recordings are on European labels. He has been commissioned by several 
prestigious European organizations and he has been honored with a number of 
music awards in Europe.

I think I first interviewed George in 1972 when I worked for WBCN and I have 
interviewed him quite a few times over the years. His are the most 
challenging interviews I've ever done! No it's not that he's difficult. He's 
very talkative. I do lots of interviews but nobody but George talks about 
music like he does. Nobody talks about things like vertical form. Nobody 
talks about gravity (in music.) I think the first few times I interviewed him 
I was just trying to understand some of his concepts!

My current show just celebrated it's 25th anniversary. WGBH recorded 
testimonials from a number of musicians. I was honored and literally almost 
speechless when I heard George's testimonial spot.

Eric Jackson
8 pm - mid Mon - Thurs
WGBH Boston
89.7 FM
www.wgbh.org/jazz
www.wgbhblogs.org/jazz

>
> Jae Sinnett wrote:
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> >-------------------------------------------
> >Eric, it's interesting that you brought up George Russell. Three of my
> > favorite jazz recordings are - "The Stratus Seekers" - "Ezz-thetics" and
> > "Stratusphunk." Neither of which I've seen as a re-issue. That's not to
> > say they haven't been but I haven't seen them. Russell could be put in
> > that genius category. His Lydian Concepts help re-shape how musicians
> > approached improvisation and writing. Sadly he suffered severe illness
> > through most of his life and spent several months in a Bronx hospital in
> > the 40's....this is important because it was during this stay he
> > formulated his now innovative Lydian Chromatic concept.
> >
> >  It reads like a who's who of musicians that performed with his creative
> > and thought provoking big band......Trane, Farmer, P. Woods, Evans, Max
> > Roach, Al Cohn and many, many more. One of the things that always
> > intrigued me about him was the fact that drums was his first instrument -
> > not piano but piano became the focus later. In fact when he moved to NYC
> > Bird wanted him to play in his group. It was interesting in that
> > considering he was a pianist he used Bill Evans. I think this was because
> > Bill studied his concepts and could apply them to his music and Russell
> > could focus on composition and directing. In some ways similar to how
> > Ellington saw Strayhorn.
> >
> >  Even more importantly, some believe that Russell was the first to
> > incorporate American Jazz with and Afro Cuban rhythms in a big band
> > concept. Many credit Dizzy with this innovation but perhaps they were
> > referring to the smaller ensembles and this work preceded Russell's
> > "Cubano" Suite. If I remember correctly, "Cubano Be-Cubano Bop" was
> > Russell's composition performed by Dizzy's band at Carnegie Hall in the
> > mid to late forties.
> >
> >  Personally I don't think history - outside of musicians circles - has
> > been kind to him.
> >
> >  Jae Sinnett
> >
> >
> >
> >---------------------------------
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> >This week's sponsor: Lisa Hilton's MIDNIGHT IN MANHATTAN
> >
> >-------------------------------------------
> >
> >A sinfully sultry mix of originals and standards'' is what JazzTrenzz
> > reviewer Karl Stober had to say about composer/pianist Lisa Hilton's
> > latest release, 'MIDNIGHT IN MANHATTAN', (Ruby Slippers Productions). 
> > Inspired by a late New York night, she has once again created a recording
> > full of evocative moods, strong melodies and expressive arrangements. 
> > Creating a new band  for these sessions, 'Midnight In Manhattan' also
> > features famed Brubeck saxman Bobby Militello, John Friday on drums and
> > long time bassist Reggie McBride.  Eighteen-time Grammy winning
> > engineer/producer Al Schmitt recorded and mixed with Hilton in Studio
> > A/Capitol Studios keeping a natural sound that compliments the straight
> > ahead tracks.
> >
> >Trained in contemporary and classical piano, Hilton contemplated jazz
> > greats for inspiration.  ''I've always been inspired by the melodies of
> > our great American songwriters of the 30's, the rhythmic hooks of classic
> > jazz of the 50's and a bit of our blues from the South'' comments Hilton,
> > ''but I do think that jazz can be inspired by this musical heritage and
> > still sound cool today.''
> >
> >Hilton's music continues to earn numerous awards and honors.  Her music is
> > distributed by Navarre and is available at most retail and online stores.
> >  Her website is: www.lisahiltonmusic.com.
> >
> >+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> >
> >Send jazzproglist mailing list submissions to
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> >
> >To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
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>
> -------------------------------------------
>
> This week's sponsor: Lisa Hilton's MIDNIGHT IN MANHATTAN
>
> -------------------------------------------
>
> A sinfully sultry mix of originals and standards'' is what JazzTrenzz
> reviewer Karl Stober had to say about composer/pianist Lisa Hilton's latest
> release, 'MIDNIGHT IN MANHATTAN', (Ruby Slippers Productions).  Inspired by
> a late New York night, she has once again created a recording full of
> evocative moods, strong melodies and expressive arrangements.  Creating a
> new band  for these sessions, 'Midnight In Manhattan' also features famed
> Brubeck saxman Bobby Militello, John Friday on drums and long time bassist
> Reggie McBride.  Eighteen-time Grammy winning engineer/producer Al Schmitt
> recorded and mixed with Hilton in Studio A/Capitol Studios keeping a
> natural sound that compliments the straight ahead tracks.
>
> Trained in contemporary and classical piano, Hilton contemplated jazz
> greats for inspiration.  ''I've always been inspired by the melodies of our
> great American songwriters of the 30's, the rhythmic hooks of classic jazz
> of the 50's and a bit of our blues from the South'' comments Hilton, ''but
> I do think that jazz can be inspired by this musical heritage and still
> sound cool today.''
>
> Hilton's music continues to earn numerous awards and honors.  Her music is
> distributed by Navarre and is available at most retail and online stores. 
> Her website is: www.lisahiltonmusic.com.
>
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>
> Send jazzproglist mailing list submissions to
> 	jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
>
> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
> 	http://lists.jazzweek.com/mailman/listinfo/jazzproglist
> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
> 	jazzproglist-request at jazzweek.com
>
> You can reach the person managing the list at
> 	jazzproglist-owner at jazzweek.com


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