2017-09-07 Living Time

Living Time

Living Time by the Bill Evans and George Russell Orchestra.

An online aquaintance posted this album to one of his daily playlists, and I’ve been meaning to check out some George Russell.

My understanding of Russell is he was a person who tried to synthesize large group Jazz with 20th Century Classical music.

This album feels like it has a few elements that are competing. Along with the symphonic modern classical elements, there’s a core of Jazz writing that wouldn’t be out of place in 1970s film and Television soundtrack work, complete with mod backbeats. There is also some free playing, especially from the Saxophone section, a la Archie Sheep. And finally, there’s a harmonic element in the keyboards and some of the harmony parts that wouldn’t be out of place on a Fela Kuti album.

All of these elements seem to struggle for dominance, winding in and out among the pieces on the album.

Not sure if it is entirely pleasant, or succesful, but it is interesting, and very ambitious.

For my money, the strongest player in the (ridiculously long) list of contributors is a 22 year old Stanley Clarke, who really holds the whole enterprise together on the three songs he plays on.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #GeorgeRussell #BillEvans #LivingTime #GeorgeRussellBillEvansOrchestra

2017-05-30 ’58 Sessions

’58 Sessions by Miles Davis, Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, John Coltrane, Bill Evans.

From this remove, it’s hard to hear that this record was somewhat radical at the time of its recording. It seems to represent a bridge between the Bebop, that the young Davis came up in, and the “Modal Jazz” he would soon become famous for popularizing on “Kind of Blue”. Adderley is especially great on this, and Coltrane is solidifying the sounds he would become known for.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #CannonballAdderley #PaulChambers #JimmyCobb #JohnColtrane #MilesDavis #BillEvans