Farewell George Russell
George Russell passed away peacefully at age 86 on Monday, July 27, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. His wife and son were at his side.
George Russell was/is a legend in his own time. But like most things in Jazz music these days only a select few know about George Russell and the enormous impact he had on us. His Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization was his life work and his gift to music. The “Concept” was respected by jazz artists such as Miles Davis who used it as inspiration for his ground-breaking 1964 record All Blues.
George Russell was an intellectual. He could see and hear the Big Picture and was able to conceptualize and communicate theoretical nuances in a way that changed how many people viewed western musical theory in general. The concept challenged how we have learned and how we are taught music theory. This pissed a lot of people off : ) It also created a new generation of theorists who are quite passionate about his concept. My impression is that the concept itself is simple however, it’s ramifications and its application can become very, very complex.
I was honored to meet Mr. Russell several times and found him to be gentle, unassuming and very willing to point out and acknowledge other peoples better qualities. He had a reverence for music that just oozed out of him and got all over you. He was very cool.
I made georgerussell.com and lydianchromaticconcept.com in 2003 and under the guidance of his wife Alice, I kept the sites up to date until just recently. I consider myself very lucky to have been involved in what I think is a step forward in the evolution of the human race.
Leave a Reply