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by AAJ Staff
When one examines the evolution of jazz, certain key individuals stand out as turning points. For free jazz in Chicago, it was Hal Russell's various groups that eventually helped spur Mars Williams and Ken Vandermark to prominence (at least on record); and that has led us to a virtual avalanche of good music. So it's worth taking a closer look at the man who gave momentum to this turn.
In the early days, Russell was primarily a drummer. Elixir, a ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
Multi-instrumentalist and beloved free-jazz pioneer Hal Russell passed away in 1991 as the newly released Albert’s Lullaby represents one of Russell’s final recordings. Russell and his “NRG Ensemble” were infamous for crafting abstract, gleefully rambunctious avant-garde jazz compositions and improvisations as Russell also helped establish paradigms for many of our younger and present day modern or – new – jazz stylists. With Albert’s Lullaby (referencing Albert Ayler), Russell along with bassist and producer Mike Staron, drummer Rick Shandling and pianist, ...read more