Wednesday, December 9, 2015

GEORGE RUSSELL SEXTET featuring Don Ellis & Eric Dolphy – 1 2 3 4 5 6extet (LP-1969)




Label: Riverside Records – RS-3043
Format: Vinyl, LP, Compilation / Country: US / Released: 1969
Style: Post Bop, Modal
From the albums Ezz-thetics (1961), The Outer View (1962) and The Stratus Seekers (1962)
Cover [Art], Design – Byron Goto, Henry Epstein
Design [Liner] – Joe Lebow
Engineer [Re-recording] – Jimmy Czak
Liner Notes – Martin Williams
Producer – Orrin Keepnews

A1 - Nardis (by – Miles Davis) ...................................................................... 4:34
        bass clarinet – Eric Dolphy
        piano – George Russell
        trumpet – Don Ellis
        trombone – Dave Baker
        bass – Steve Swallow
        drums – Joe Hunt
A2 - Au Privave (by – Charlie Parker) .......................................................... 6:21
        piano – George Russell
        tenor Saxophone – Paul Plummer
        trombone – Garnett Brown
        trumpet – Don Ellis
        bass – Steve Swallow
        drums – Pete La Roca
A3 - 'Round Midnight (by – Williams / Monk) .............................................. 6:29
        alto saxophone – Eric Dolphy
        piano – GeorgeRussell
        trombone – Dave Baker
        trumpet – Don Ellis
        bass – Steve Swallow
        drums – Joe Hunt
B1 - Blues In Orbit (by – George Russell) .................................................... 7:24
        piano – George Russell
        trumpet – Don Ellis
        alto saxophone – John Pierce
        tenor saxophone – Paul Plummer
        trombone – Dave Baker
        bass – Steve Swallow
        drums – Joe Hunt
B2 - The Stratus Seekers (by – George Russell) .......................................... 6:52
        piano – George Russell
        trumpet – Don Ellis
        alto saxophone – John Pierce
        tenor saxophone – Paul Plummer
        trombone – Dave Baker
        bass – Steve Swallow
        drums – Joe Hunt
B3 - Thoughts (by – George Russell) ........................................................... 5:26
        bass clarinet – Eric Dolphy
        piano – George Russell
        trumpet – Don Ellis
        trombone – Dave Baker
        bass – Steve Swallow
        drums – Joe Hunt

A late 60s issue of material from some of Russell's earlier albums on Riverside – great sides from the early 60s featuring Russell at the head of a group of some of the better young modernists of the age...

 George Russell / Eric Dolphy

If Stratusphunk (october 1960) was perhaps too academic (despite Stratusphunk), Ezz-thetics (may 1961) topped anything he had done before, despite including only three original Russell compositions. Trumpeter Don Ellis, trombonist Dave Baker, clarinetist Eric Dolphy, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Joe Hunt struck an eerie balance between bebop, cool jazz and free jazz (particularly in Ezz-thetics). A septet with Ellis, Baker and Swallow recorded the complex Blues In Orbit and The Stratus Seekers, the highlights of The Stratus Seekers (january 1962).
This LP compilation features Russell-conceived three versions, as well as the three originals compositions:

From the album ''Ezz-thetics'' (Riverside Records RLP-9375)
A1 - Nardis / written-by – Miles Davis
A3 - 'Round Midnight /  written-by – Williams, Monk
B3 - Thoughts / written-by – George Russell
from the album ''The Outer View'' (Riverside Records RLP-9440)
A2 - Au Privave / written-by – Charlie Parker
from the album '' The Stratus Seekers'' (Riverside Records RLP-9412)
B1 - Blues In Orbit / written-by – George Russell
B2 - The Stratus Seekers / written-by – George Russell

A true masterpiece, Ezz-Thetics is pianist/arranger George Russell's definitive 1961 sextet recording from the earliest phase of his multi-decade career. On par with such iconic albums as Oliver Nelson's Blues and the Abstract Truth (Impulse!, 1961), Mal Waldron's The Quest (Riverside, 1961) and Andrew Hill's Point of Departure (Blue Note, 1964), Ezz-Thetics traffics in the same advanced but accessible strain of avant-garde-influenced post-bop.

Author of The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization (pub. 1953), Russell's seminal concepts of improvisation, based on scales rather than chords, became the driving force behind the early modal explorations of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. This pioneering session offers a singular and visionary view of classic post-bop that is ageless in its perfection.




Russell's bands fluctuated with different players but always sounded so modern and creative but this edition of the sextet was special because it had Eric Dolphy playing alto and bass clarinet. Dolphy joined for a few months and made this album (Ezz-Thetics, 1961) with Don Ellis on trumpet, who was later to make his mark as a bandleader, David Baker on trombone, the wonderful and forgotten drummer Joe Hunt and the recording debut of Steve Swallow, playing accoustic bass make this a once in a lifetime session. Dolphy's energy and creativity make this recording significant but Ellis is on fire as well and this was to be the last recording by David Baker on trombone who, how says producer Orrin Keepnews, sounds both avant-guard and funky at the same time. Baker was playing with a dislocated jaw and right after this recording had an operation and switched from trombone to cello. Baker to this day is one of the leading educators in Jazz and classical music. Russell's piano is spare like Monk's and is so effective in solo and the fills for the horn players. The highlight of this recording is one of the most unique versions of Monk's ''Round Midnight'. There are so many highlights to this album that one should hear it all and marvel at the very contemporary concept and sound of 1961 date.

Supported by subtle counterpoint and an elegant arrangement, Miles Davis' exotic "Nardis" is given a haunting reading, reveals Russell's minimalist angularity behind the piano, while Dolphy displays a keening, expressive aspect in contrast to Ellis' dulcet trumpet.
Using the blues as a basic framework, Baker's contribution, "Thoughts," incorporates free-form sections at regular intervals, exposing the fine line between tradition and innovation.
A prescient rendition of Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight" acts as a showpiece for Dolphy. Opening with a free-form section of tiny instrumental sounds and highly vocalized brass effects, it pre-dates the work of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Music) by almost a decade. A brilliant study in dynamics and virtuosity, Dolphy's alto solo is legendary. Incorporating intervallic leaps and register changes with a highly vocalized tone and mellifluous phrasing, he offers a definitive statement on a hallowed theme...


Note:
After 1963, Russell relocated to Scandinavia and turned to extended multi-stylistic works for orchestra implementing his idea of vertical form, such as the 28-minute Othello Ballet Suite and the Electronic Organ Sonata No. 1, collected on Othello Ballet Suite (november 1967), and especially the Electronic Sonata For Souls Loved By Nature (april 1969), his masterpiece, a chaotic fusion of jazz, classical, ethnic, blues and electronic music, performed by an enthusiastic set of players (including trumpeter Manfred Schoof, tenor saxophonist Jan Garbarek, guitarist Terje Rypdal, drummer John Christensen). A new version in three movements (recorded in october 1970) appeared on Essence (1971), together with the Concerto for Self-Accompanied Guitar (january 1968).


If you do not have "Ezz-thetics" and "The Stratus Seekers" albums, buy them as soon as possible. Very recommended.

Enjoy!


If you find it, buy this album!

15 comments:

  1. GEORGE RUSSELL SEXTET featuring Don Ellis & Eric Dolphy – 1 2 3 4 5 6extet
    (LP-1969)
    Vinyl Rip/FLAC+Artwork

    1fichier:
    https://1fichier.com/?pwqr752nr2

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  2. Ahhh...! Nice. Thanks.

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  3. "On par with such iconic albums as Oliver Nelson's Blues and the Abstract Truth (Impulse!, 1961), Mal Waldron's The Quest (Riverside, 1961) and Andrew Hill's Point of Departure (Blue Note, 1964), Ezz-Thetics traffics in the same advanced but accessible strain of avant-garde-influenced post-bop."

    In other words....DOLPHY!!!

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  4. I'm curious about the recording sound. And I've never seen this record before ! Thanks a lot, Vitko

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  5. The sound is good, and through this compilation I was a long time ago first met George Russell's innovative music. It was only later I bought his legendary albums "Ezz-thetics," "The Stratus Seekers", "Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved by Nature", "Beethoven Hall vols 1/2" and so on. Today I have quite a nice collection of his vinyl, and he is one of my favorite composers.
    Best regards.

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  6. http://differentperspectivesinmyroom.blogspot.de/2015/01/george-russell-sextet-don-cherry-at.html

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    Replies
    1. A hint to your other Russell-post - only stumbled upon it by accident (missed it back then). I thought it might help others to discover it, dear Vitko! :)

      Cheers, Lucky

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    2. A nice gesture, appreciate it.
      Cheers, my good Lucky :)

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  7. Thanks Vitko nice to have an LP of these great tracks

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  8. This should be a treat!
    Thank you very much!

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  9. Have just discovered your blog, via The Lair - it's quite splendid - many thanks and best wishes, Paul

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