Wednesday, February 1, 2017

George Russell - 1986 - So What

George Russell 
So What

01. So What 7:54
02. Rhymes 6:21
03. War Gewesen 5:12
04. Time Spiral 19:22

Acoustic Bass – Bob Nieske (tracks: A1, B)
Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute – Dave Mann (tracks: A1, B), Janus Steprans
Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Flute – Brad Jones (tracks: A1, B)
Bass Trombone – Jeff Marsanskas (tracks: A1, B)
Conductor – George Russell (tracks: A1, B)
Congas – Joe Galeota (tracks: A1, B)
Drums – Keith Copeland
Electric Bass [Fender Bass] – Bill Urmson
French Horn – Marshall Sealy (tracks: A1, B)
Guitar – Mark White
Keyboards – Bruce Barth (tracks: A1, B), Marc Rossi
Percussion – Dave Hagedorn (tracks: A1, B)
Producer [Musical] – George Russell
Supervised By [Production Consultant] – Marty Khan
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – George Garzone (tracks: A1, B)
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute – Gary Joynes
Trombone – Chip Kaner, Peter Cirelli (tracks: A1, B)
Trumpet [First Trumpet] – Mike Peipman (tracks: A1, B)
Trumpet [Fourth Trumpet] – Mark Harvey (8)
Trumpet [Second Trumpet] – Chris Passin* (tracks: A1, B)
Trumpet [Third Trumpet] – Roy Okutani (tracks: A1, B)

Mastered at: Sterling Sound, New York, New York
Recorded live at Emanuel Church, Boston, Massachusetts, June 18, 1983.

These tracks were recorded at the same Boston church concert that yielded The African Game, and Russell's Living Time Orchestra responds with the same kick and enthusiasm, although the musicians' individual solo turns aren't terribly startling. Half the CD is taken up by a performance of Russell's "Time Spiral," which opens promisingly but soon evolves into a pair of eventually tiresome funk vamps tied together with an episode of atonality. Russell's idiosyncratic take on Miles Davis' "So What" is built around a transcribed version of Miles' original solo, and it rocks to the modal changes without ever stating the theme. Russell uses an eight-person update of the Smalltet on the modal "Rhymes" and "War Gewesen," which roll forth on a distinct funk beat with plenty of Fender bass underpinning. Consider this as a supplement to The African Game, further evidence of Russell's (mixed?) desire to come to terms with the idioms of his time.

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