If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
But absolutely nothing could prepare audiences for The African Game (Blue Note, 1983). This was Russell's Magnum opus. A highly eclectic, nine-event 45-minute suite for augmented big band that depicted the dawn of human civilization fromas we now knowthe correct, African perspective. The work attempts, successfully, to embrace an enormous world of sound in an open, colorful manner, with several degrees of timbral unity and emotion, to keep the various idioms from flying out of control. This is a celebrated recording by Russellhis first in 13 years, made with his latest large ensemble, The Living Time Orchestra, a unit that was to be, with personnel changes, his last and greatest big band. That record was followed quickly by So What (Blue Note, 1983). Here too, the Living Time Orchestra responds to Russell's direction with the same kick that typified his Promethean career that began in the 50s and also featured one of his last long compositions, "Time Spiral."
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.
I love jazz because it takes my mind away and is very relaxing.
I was first exposed to jazz by my older brother every morning while eating breakfast before school he would play Hiroshima One which I hated but after he moved away to college and I moved to Miami I fell in love with jazz music.