Why George Russell Will Always Live in Time
Then again there was a long period of inactivity, before Russell made the first of three visits to the UK. Between 1986 and 1988, he performed and put together London Concerts Vols 1 & 2 (Label Bleu, 1989). Then the recording trail went cold again. But nothing really could prevent George Russell from staying close to the music he so loved. When Gunther Schuller had persuaded him to return to the US in 1969, he did not simply come back. He joined Schuller at the New England Conservatory of Music. He played festivals and he broadcasted in North America and in Europe. His last record was the gargantuan 80th Birthday Concert (Concept Publishing, 2005). Too bad he was stricken by Alzheimer's towards the end of his life, incapacitated not unlike that other compositional genius, Charles Mingus. But it may be that George Russell may not be done after all. Perhaps he will celebrate with a chair in the sky. While down here, we in the world will wait with bated breath.