Saturday, November 7, 2009
George Russell - Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved by Nature
George Russell was a composer, arranger, bandleader, pianist and author ("The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization") of considerable renown and influence in the world of jazz. While less known than Gil Evans, his work was much more diverse and challenging. Proof of that is this composition, in which jazz and other musical elements mingle with electronics to create a work of tremendous power and beauty.
"Composer, theorist, arranger, and pianist George Russell debuted his 14-part master composition "Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved By Nature" on April 28, 1969, at a concert in Norway. The ambitious, elaborate work blended bebop, free, Asian, and blues elements, as well as electronic effects, and mixed live performance with tape and vocal segments. It was a testimony to the prowess of trumpeter Manfred Schoof, tenor saxophonist Jan Garbarek, guitarist Terje Rypdal, bassist Red Mitchell, and drummer Jon Christensen that they weren't overwhelmed by the sheer weight of the experience. The digital mastering enables listeners to fully hear the disparate styles converging, and understand just how advanced Russell's concepts were, particularly for the time. The composition ranks alongside Ornette Coleman's "Free Jazz" as one of jazz's finest, most adventurous pieces." - Ron Wynn