Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.


Evan Parker/John Russell/John Edwards, Pat Thomas, Alison Blunt/Benedict Taylor/David Leahy, Kay Grant/Alex Ward: Making Rooms

Read "Making Rooms" reviewed by John Eyles

Originated by guitarist John Russell and pianist/trumpeter Chris Burn, Mopomoso is an improvised-music organisation that has run a series of monthly concerts in London ever since 1991, making it the longest-running such series in the UK. Between April 23rd and 30th 2013, Mopomoso embarked on a tour of England which visited seven cities outside London. At each stop, local improvising musicians supported the core group of musicians--Russell, saxophonist Evan Parker, bassists John Edwards and David Leahy, pianist Pat Thomas, violinist ...


John Russell: With...

Read "With..." reviewed by John Eyles

This album is a faithful record of John Russell's sixtieth birthday concert which took place at Cafe Oto, London, on Friday 19th December 2014. Everything is included here except for announcements, applause and less than half a minute of music which were all edited out to fit it onto one CD; at a few seconds short of seventy-eight minutes, it just manages that. Thanks to the sterling efforts of Helen Petts, the entire concert was filmed and can be viewed ...


Catching Up With Guitarist John Russell

Read "Catching Up With Guitarist  John Russell" reviewed by John Eyles

2012 has been a memorable year for guitarist John Russell. It marked the twenty-first anniversary of his concert series Mopomoso which meets monthly at The Vortex jazz club in Dalston, London, making it the city's longest-running improvised music series. The year was also the thirtieth anniversary of Fete Quaqua, his annual festival of improv. Both Mopomoso and Fete Quaqua have an international feel, with musicians from across the globe regularly visiting them, Russell always making them very welcome. London has ...


In Praise of John Russell

Read "In Praise of John Russell" reviewed by John Eyles

English guitarist John Russell is from the wave of free improvisers who came after the so-called first generation typified by such “founding fathers" as guitarist Derek Bailey, saxophonist Evan Parker, trombonist Paul Rutherford and drummer John Stevens. In his teens, Russell played at the Little Theatre Club, the cradle of free improv in London, and took lessons from Bailey. His first recording, Teatime, was issued on Incus in 1975. Since 1977, Russell has exclusively played acoustic guitar, developing ...


John Russell: Analekta (2004/06)

Read "Analekta (2004/06)" reviewed by Nic Jones

Guitarist John Russell has always devoted himself to the cause of free improvisation as a vocation and the music he and his cohorts make here is arguably the best-realized example of his art on record to date.

The more time passes the more obvious it becomes that Russell just might be one of the most committed group players working in this relatively rarefied field. This is especially true of “The Bite," played as a duo in the company of tenor ...


John Russell: Analekta

Read "Analekta" reviewed by John Eyles

This release features three duos recorded at John Russell's monthly Mopomoso concerts, plus a large ensemble captured at the Freedom of the City festival in 2006. Each of the duos finds the guitarist in the company of a player not often recorded--saxophonist Garry Todd, trumpeter Henry Lowther and saxophonist/percussionist Chefa Alonso--but all deserving wider exposure.

Russell and Todd first played together in the 1970s, sharing a debut album on Incus records in 1975. The duo here is their first recorded ...


John Russell / Maarten Altena / Terry Day: The Fairly Young Bean

Read "The Fairly Young Bean" reviewed by Robert Spencer

This string/percussion trio explores textures on these twenty-six brief tracks. Some are briefer than others: “See for Yourself" is the longest at 9:28, and “Emphasis" is almost nine minutes. But eleven tracks are under two minutes long.

Eschewing melodic and rhythmic continuity, John Russell (guitar), Maarten Altena (cello, bass), and Terry Day (percussion), build up small clusters of sound in these small spaces, relying mostly on the percussive possibilities of each instrument. Occasionally, however, Russell coaxes some clear bell-like tones ...


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