Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Innovative Figure in the Evolution of Modern Jazz, George Russell Dies at 86

Composer, theoretician, pianist George Russell passed away this evening, July 27, 2009 at approximately 9:10 pm from complications due to Alzheimer’s.

George Russell was a hugely influential, innovative figure in the evolution of modern jazz, the music's only major theorist, one of its most profound composers, and a trail blazer whose ideas have transformed and inspired some of the greatest musicians of our time.

For full article at Jazz.com http://tinyurl.com/mhbyxz

George Russell's book, The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, first published in 1953, was the first theoretical contribution to come from jazz, and was responsible for introducing modal improvisation which resulted in the seminal recording of Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue." Since it's publication, there have been scores of books on the market which have "borrowed" bits of the Concept's information, but there is only one original.

"[The Concept] was the great path-breaker for Miles Davis and John Coltrane's modality."
- Joachim Berendt, The Jazz Book.

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