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George Russell|The Jazz Workshop

The Jazz Workshop

George Russell

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This set, originally cut for RCA, was composer/arranger George Russell's debut as a leader. The original program (which includes such numbers as "Ye Hypocrite, Ye Beelzebub," "Livingstone I Presume," "Ezz-thetic" and "Knights of the Steamtable") has been joined by alternate second versions of "Ballad of Hix Blewitt" and "Concerto for Billy the Kid." Listening to the music, it is hard to believe that Russell only utilized a sextet (comprised of trumpeter Art Farmer, altoist Hal McKusick, guitarist Barry Galbraith, pianist Bill Evans, one of two bassists and one of three drummers). The ensembles are frequently dense, the harmonies quite original and there are often several events occurring at the same time; one would swear there were at least four or five horns being heard in spots. "Fellow Delegates" is particularly intriguing for it finds Russell playing chromatic drums while joined by Osie Johnson on wood drums; the otherwordly effect is worthy of Sun Ra. Even the more conventional pieces such as "Ezz-thetic" (based on the chords of "Love for Sale" but here almost resembling a Lennie Tristano line played backwards) sound quite advanced. Russell was able to utilize some of the more versatile and technically skilled players of the era, several of whom worked regularly in the studios. Recommended.

© Scott Yanow /TiVo

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The Jazz Workshop

George Russell

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1
Ye Hypocrite, Ye Beelzebub
00:03:51

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Bill Evans, Piano - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

2
Jack's Blues
00:03:46

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Bill Evans, Piano - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

3
Livingstone, I Presume
00:03:26

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Bill Evans, Piano - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

4
Ezz-Thetic
00:05:14

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Bill Evans, Piano - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

5
Night Sound
00:03:55

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Bill Evans, Piano - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

6
Round Johnny Rondo
00:03:30

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Bill Evans, Piano - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

7
Fellow Delegates
00:05:40

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Bill Evans, Piano - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

8
Witch Hunt
00:03:49

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Bill Evans, Piano - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

9
The Sad Sergeant
00:03:27

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Bill Evans, Piano - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

10
Knights of the Steamtable
00:02:36

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Bill Evans, Piano - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

11
Ballad of Hix Blewitt
00:03:17

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Bill Evans, Piano - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

12
Concerto for Billy the Kid
00:04:44

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Bill Evans, Piano - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

13
Ballad of Hix Blewitt (Alternate Take)
00:03:45

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Bill Evans, Piano - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

14
Concerto for Billy the Kid (Alternate Take)
00:04:47

George Russell, Arranger, Associated Performer, Composer, Conductor, Main Artist - George Russell Smalltet, Associated Performer - Art Farmer, Trumpet - Bill Evans, Piano - Hal McKusick, Alto Saxophone - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Teddy Kotick, Bass - Osie Johnson, Drums

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

Album review

This set, originally cut for RCA, was composer/arranger George Russell's debut as a leader. The original program (which includes such numbers as "Ye Hypocrite, Ye Beelzebub," "Livingstone I Presume," "Ezz-thetic" and "Knights of the Steamtable") has been joined by alternate second versions of "Ballad of Hix Blewitt" and "Concerto for Billy the Kid." Listening to the music, it is hard to believe that Russell only utilized a sextet (comprised of trumpeter Art Farmer, altoist Hal McKusick, guitarist Barry Galbraith, pianist Bill Evans, one of two bassists and one of three drummers). The ensembles are frequently dense, the harmonies quite original and there are often several events occurring at the same time; one would swear there were at least four or five horns being heard in spots. "Fellow Delegates" is particularly intriguing for it finds Russell playing chromatic drums while joined by Osie Johnson on wood drums; the otherwordly effect is worthy of Sun Ra. Even the more conventional pieces such as "Ezz-thetic" (based on the chords of "Love for Sale" but here almost resembling a Lennie Tristano line played backwards) sound quite advanced. Russell was able to utilize some of the more versatile and technically skilled players of the era, several of whom worked regularly in the studios. Recommended.

© Scott Yanow /TiVo

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