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George Russell

George Russell composer and Jazz Pianist. He is credited as being the first jazz musician to contribute to general music theory based on Jazz rather than European music in his 1953 book The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization. Inspired by hearing Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight” he moved to New York and became a member of a group of jazz innovators who hung out at a 55th street apartment of another jazz composer Gil Evans. A group that included Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan and John Lewis of Modern Jazz Quartet. It was a remark that Miles Davis made to George when asked what was his musical aim? Miles replied that he wanted to learn all the changes. Knowing that Miles already knew how to arpeggiate each chord, Russell reasoned that Miles meant that he wanted to find a new and broader way to relate to chords. 1945-1946 saw Russell hospitalized with Tuberculosis where he worked out his new theory. Russell’s ideas were crucial in the “model” music of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Russell later applied his theory to composition. His music is fantastic!!!  Ezz-Thetics, The Outer View, and George Russell Sextet at the 5 Spot are 3 great albums to start with.    Discography

GR2GRG Russell

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