[JPL] Eric Jackson/George Russell

Rick McLaughlin rick at rickmclaughlin.com
Thu Jul 20 11:22:30 EDT 2006

I'm so happy to see such positive comments about George.  He has been a huge
source of inspiration for me, and I'm sure dozens - if not hundreds - of New
England Conservatory alumni.  He is still with us, although he retired from
NEC last year.  The Lydian Chromatic Concept is still being taught at NEC,
which is great.  George received an honorary DMA from NEC in May 2005.  

I first heard the Ezz-thetic record the day before ensemble began.  I had
never heard his music, and had been assigned his ensemble because of certain
qualities in my playing (namely: I'm a bass player and I could walk at
really fast tempi).  I ran out and bought Ezz-thetic and it completely blew
my mind.  He was so supportive and positive about my playing and writing,
and just an absolute pleasure to be around, not to mention how incredible it
was to play his music.

So for the past 10 years or so, whenever I see a George Russell record I
don't own, I just buy it, no questions asked.  And so far there is only one
side of one LP that I'm not very into, but I must have 25 George Russell CDs
and LPs by now.  Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved By Nature 1968 is also
completely unbelievable.  And have any of you seen his interview with
Ornette?  It's in a film that also features interviews with Paul Bley, Bill
Dixon, and an appearance by Cecil Taylor.  Can't think of the title...

So, yeah man, George rocks.  And hey, what about Eric Dolphy's solo on
Ezz-thetic?  My personal all-time favorite Dolphy solo, with a close runner
up on Naima from Nov 23, 1961 at the Konserthusen, Stockholm (I have it on
an Affinity LP, AFF 14, called Coltranology Volume One) - totally amazing.


Rick McLaughlin

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