Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). Brand new digital remaster. A pair of modern moments from George Russell – back to back on a single CD! Stratusphunk is not "phunk", in the way you might think of "funk" – but an album that sets a whole new standard for modern jazz in the 60s – thanks to the fresh ideas of George Russell! Russell's in his best modal mode here – and there's a highly rhythmic construction to most tunes – layers that build beautifully, and which have a sharper edge than some of George's earlier work in the 50s – a balance that's better heard than described by our words, and which is completely compelling right from the start.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
George Russell was clearly one of the leading forces in expanding the jazz vocabulary from the early-modern language of bebop to the aggressively free-form expression of the avant-garde. He has been important as an arranger, composer, educator, and creator of the Lydian tonal concept, and in the early Sixties led small groups that presented his own writing, as well as that of Carla Bley and others, and featured such notable players as Eric Dolphy, David Baker, and Don Ellis. The latter two appear prominently on The Stratus Seekers, the third of his four albums for Riverside.
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