Sunday, December 19, 2010

George Russell Sextet

This limited-edition CD reissue covers six tracks recorded in the studio (since they obviously omit any of the background noise, and the usual out-of-tune piano heard on live dates recorded at the long defunct New York City nightclub is missing). The band includes trumpeter Al Kiger, trombonist David Baker, tenor saxophonist Dave Young, bassist Chuck Israels, and drummer Joe Hunt, along with Russell's sparse piano. Things kick off with a driving take of Miles Davis' "Sippin' at Bells," which features great interaction among the horns. Carla Bley's "Dance Class" is choppy, dissonant, and very humorous; she also wrote "Beast Blues," which features Kiger's muted horn, an energetic solo by Young, and a very understated solo by Baker. Baker contributed "121 Bank Street," a roller coaster post-bop vehicle. John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice," which had only been recorded three years earlier by its composer, is re-scored with a very spacious Russell arrangement that provides minimal accompaniment for the soloists. Unlike many of Russell's releases, this one has only one of his originals, "Swingdom Come," with a jagged angular theme that defies predictable paths. Although Russell plays more of a composer/arranger style of piano, his very challenging arrangements are very attractive. Anyone who enjoys his releases for RCA, Riverside, and Decca from around this period in his career should definitely acquire this sure-to-be-collectable CD.
Ken Dryden
Source :

George Russell
George Russell Sextet
at the Five Spot



1 Sippin' at Bells (Davis) 7:19
2 Dance Class (Bley) 6:17
3 Swingdom Come (Russell) 7:30
4 121 Bank Street (Baker) 5:58
5 Beast Blues (Bley) 8:56
6 Moment's Notice (Coltrane) 8:02

George Russell - p & arr
Al Kiger - tp
David Baker - tb
Dave Young - ts
Chuck Israels - b
Joe Hunt - dr

Recorded at the Five Spot Cafe, New York ; September 20, 1960


Melanchthon said...

Otis Foster said...

Thanks Mel. Russell was a very interesting musician who never received the status he was entitled to.

Chuck Israels is still living in the Pacific NW, has done some teaching and gigs around Seattle.

Pippo said...

Thank you Melanchthon, nice to see you around.

neil said...

Got his later album Ezz-thetics (with Eric Dolphy), so looking forward to checking this out. Thanks, Mel...

Baron said...

Thanks Mel ... Baron

Kneigh said...

Many thanx for this George Russell, Melanchthon!! I've really been getting into his style lately.

Thanx as always for your great site too, sir!! One of the best. Period!!

swamielmo said...

great music, thank you mel

Anonymous said...

Hi Melanchthon,

Thanks for all this beautiful music! But I cannot download this album; could you upload it again at Zippyshare? Many thanks in advance! Roberto