Wednesday, February 1, 2017

George Russell - 1981 - Vertical Form VI

George Russell 
Vertical Form VI

01. Event I 9:07
02. Event II 15:03
03. Event III 4:36
04. Event IV 9:24
05. Event V 1:59

Acoustic Bass – Bronislav Suchanek, Lars-Urban Helje
Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Flute – Erik Nilsson
Celesta, Organ, Electric Piano, Clavinet – Monica Dominique
Congas – Sabu Martinez
Drums – Lars Beijbon, Leroy Lowe
Electric Bass – Stefan Brolund
Electric Piano – Björn Lind
French Horn – Ivar Olsen
Guitar – Rune Gustafsson
Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Clarinet – Arne Domnerus
Synthesizer, Electric Piano – Vlodek Gulgowski
Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Flute – Ian Uling
Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute – Lennart Åberg
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Flute – Bernet Rosengren
Trombone – Bengt Edvarsson, Jörgen Johansson, Lars Olofsson
Trombone [Bass], Tuba – Sven Larsson
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Americo Bellotto, Bertil Lövgren
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, French Horn – Håken Nyqvist
Trumpet, French Horn – Jan Allan

Recorded live in Estrad, Sodertalje, Sweden on March 10, 1977, under commission from the Swedish Radio Broadcasting Company.

If you're a fan of Gil Evans, Don Ellis, Stan Kenton, Miles' "In A Silent Way", or Les McCann's "Invitation to Openness", then "Vertical Form VI" (recorded live in 1977) is something you should check out ASAP. These are highly evocative big-band-electric-jazz tone poems; sit back and close your eyes while listening on headfones, and there's no telling where this music might take you. The sound is dense and complex, yet very open and spacious. Event II manages to be simultaneously fast-paced and glacially slow. And underneath its many layers of counterpoint, Event IV has a killer funk bassline that dancemixing DJs ought to sample, if they haven't already. (BTW, who's playing the rhythm banjo?) Perhaps Cliff Tinder, reviewing the original LP release in Musician magazine, said it best: "...a grand architectural edifice rises toward the sky... The richness of texture is almost tactile. The image is of monumental objects in gradual revolution." [Exactly!] "And amazingly, Russell's edifices swing. Tenaciously." Although many music critics past and present have indulged in sneering, ignorant dismissals of 1970s "fusion", there were many albums that gave that genre a GOOD name, and this is one of them. I only wish I could have attended this performance in person, to be knocked out by all the live power of this large ensemble. Thank you, Mr Russell!

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