George Russell Sextet – Live In Bremen – September 28, 1964 – Radio Bremen-FM
George Russell Sextet this week – recorded live at Radio Bremen’s Sendesaal on September 28, 1964.
A few words about George Russell from the All About Jazz Website (an excellet resource):
George Russell was a hugely influential, innovative figure in the evolution of modern jazz, the music’s only major theorist, one of its most profound composers, and a trail blazer whose ideas have transformed and inspired some of the greatest musicians of our time.
It was a remark made by Miles Davis when George asked him his musical aim which set Russell on the course which has been his life. Miles said he “wanted to learn all the changes.” Since Miles obviously knew all the changes, Russell surmised that what he meant was he wanted to learn a new way to relate to chords. This began a quest for Russell, and again hospitalized for 16 months, he began to develop his “Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization.” First published in 1953, the Lydian Concept is credited with opening the way into modal music, as demonstrated by Miles in his seminal “Kind of Blue” recording. Using the Lydian Scale as the PRIMARY SCALE of Western music, the Lydian Chromatic Concept introduced the idea of chord/scale unity. It was the first theory to explore the vertical relationship between chords and scales, and was the only original theory to come from jazz. Throughout the 1950’s and 60’s, Russell continued to work on developing the Concept and leading bands under his direction. In the mid-fifties, a superb sextet, including Bill Evans and Art Farmer recorded under his direction, producing “The Jazz Workshop,” an album of astonishing originality; the often dense textures and rhythms anticipated the jazz-rock movement of the 1970’s. Click for larger imageDuring this time, he was also working odd jobs as a counterman in a lunch spot and selling toys at Macy’s at Christmas; the release of “The Jazz Workshop” put an end to Russell’s jobs outside of music. He was one of a group to be commissioned to write for the first annual Brandeis Jazz Festival in 1957—”All About Rosie” was based on an Alabama children’s song. “New York, New York,” with poetry by Jon Hendricks and featuring Bill Evans, Max Roach, John Coltrane, Milt Hinton, Bob Brookmeyer, Art Farmer and a Who’s Who of the New York jazz scene is striking in it evocation of the New York of the late fifties. From 1960, Russell began leading his own sextets around the New York area and at festivals; he also toured throughout the Midwest and Europe with his sextet. One of the important albums of this time was “Ezz-Thetic,” which featured Eric Dolphy, Don Ellis and Steve Swallow.
If you didn’t already know, now you do – Here is George Russell and his Sextet (Thad Jones, trumpet – Garrett Brown, Trombone – Joe Farrell, tenor sax – Russell, piano – Barre Phillips, bass and Albert Heath, drums) gigging at Radio Bremen in 1964.
Press Play and relax.
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