Friday, April 29, 2016

George Russell - The Jazz Workshop

This set, originally cut for RCA, was composer/arranger George Russell's debut as a leader. The original program (which includes such numbers as "Ye Hypocrite, Ye Beelzebub," "Livingstone I Presume," "Ezz-thetic" and "Knights of the Steamtable") has been joined by alternate second versions of "Ballad of Hix Blewitt" and "Concerto for Billy the Kid." Listening to the music, it is hard to believe that Russell only utilized a sextet (comprised of trumpeter Art Farmer, altoist Hal McKusick, guitarist Barry Galbraith, pianist Bill Evans, one of two bassists and one of three drummers). The ensembles are frequently dense, the harmonies quite original and there are often several events occurring at the same time; one would swear there were at least four or five horns being heard in spots. "Fellow Delegates" is particularly intriguing for it finds Russell playing chromatic drums while joined by Osie Johnson on wood drums; the otherwordly effect is worthy of Sun Ra. Even the more conventional pieces such as "Ezz-thetic" (based on the chords of "Love for Sale" but here almost resembling a Lennie Tristano line played backwards) sound quite advanced. Russell was able to utilize some of the more versatile and technically skilled players of the era, several of whom worked regularly in the studios. Recommended.
Scott Yanow

Source :

George Russell
The Jazz Workshop


1 Ye Hypocrite, Ye Beelzebub  3:53
2 Jack's Blues  3:47
3 Livingstone I Presume  3:28
4 Ezz-Thetic  5:16
5 Night Sound  3:58
6 Round Johnny Rondo  3:31
7 Fellow Delegates  5:42
8 Witch Hunt  3:50
9 The Sad Sergeant  3:27
10 Knights of the Steamtable  2:36
11 Ballad of Hix Blewitt  3:18
12 Concerto for Billy the Kid  4:44
13 Ballad of Hix Blewitt [alt. take]  3:45
14 Concerto for Billy the Kid [alt. take]  4:46

All Compositions by George Russell


George Russell - chrm dr, & arr.
Art Farmer - tp
Barry Galbraith - g
Hal McKusick - as & fl
Bill Evans - p
Milt Hinton - b [# 1-6, 8, 12 & 14]
Teddy Kotick - b [# 7, 9-11 & 13]
Joe Harris - dr [# 1-4]
Paul Motian - dr [# 5, 6, 8, 12 & 14]
Osie Johnson - dr [# 7, 9-11 & 13]

Recorded in New York City ; March 31 [# 1-4] ; October 17 [# 5, 6, 8, 12 & 14] ; & December 21 [# 7, 9-11 & 13], 1956


Melanchthon said...

deGallo said...

George Russell is not for me but one has to have it as a collector for Galbraith, Thank you.

Rodney said...

Thank you.

gullo said...

Thanks so much for this and all your other posts. You're single-handedly reinvigorating my inters in jazz and music in general. I remember spending many hours at Tower Records flipping through albums, scanning for familiar sidemen and reading liner notes. You've somehow recaptured that feeling for me.

I'd love an invite to follow when you close your blog from time to time. Thanks very much again for everything.

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

THanks for music of George Russell with Bill Evans

TEBOUL René said...

George Russell is a very interesting composer with very personnal ideas

Peter said...

Melanchthon = Scholar of Jazz, thank you.

ProfessorCalculus said...

Thanks Mel..always great stuff.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

AmyBRAINS said...

It's a very nice album.
Many thanks, Melanchthon.

bventure said...

Thanks for upgrading my mp3 to lossless, important for me for one of my all-time favourites, George Russell

Kovina Kris said...

What a great lineup. Can't wait to give this a spin. Thank you Mel!

Starchild said...

Many thanks Mel!

Anonymous said...

"Melanchthon = Scholar of Jazz, thank you." - Thank you @ Peter.
What would it all be, without you, dear MM?