Index of Artists
Browse by Artist: RUSSELL, RAY
Russell makes it sound as if the guitar is not enough, as if he's reaching for something wilder, something that can't be contained within the 6-string cage." -- Jim O'Rourke
is influenced by and dedicated to visionary jazz arranger Gil Evans and includes one of Gil's final recordings. It is an album that mixes dark fusion, lyrical guitar pieces and icy soundscapes. For fans of: John Abercrombie, Jeff Beck, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin, John Scofield."
Live at the I.C.A./Retrospective
"The English free jazz improvisation scene of the late 60s and early 70s was an incestuous breeding ground. Robert Fripp was producing albums by Keith Tippet, Brian Eno was using Derek Bailey and Evan Parker on albums of odd Russian electronic music on Island, and labels like EMI and RCA were actually taking a stab at selling this music to a large market. Amidst all this was Ray Russell, a popular session guitarist, also playing in John Barry's group, also reputed to be the first guitarist in England to have a pedal setup, and also the man responsible for the guitar freak-out on the
soundtrack album. CBS and RCA started releasing records of his free jazz groups. They started innocently enough, but eventually Russell started to break free. At a time when hollow body guitars and a clean sound were the norm, he had his Fender guitar in one hand and a fuzz box in the other. For a period in the early 70s he made records of unknown hybridibastardization of the rock sound and free jazz energy. He was Caspar Brotzmann when Caspar's dad was still writing blueprints for the continental Europe free jazz sound. Then he moved on, as people do, and the records became impossible to get. His efforts dropped off the face of the free map. The sound is recognizably jazz -- rhythm section, horn, playing heads; group improvisation. But even after all these years it's still a shock when Russell comes up to bat. His lines are not so much melodic variation, or even Coltrane-like walls of sound. Instead it is what, 20 years later, was termed 'skree'; sharp, angular bursts, like a Pollock painting mounted with guitar pickups, the sound of explosions. Like contemporaries Sonny Sharrock and Terje Rypdal, Russell makes it sound as if the guitar is not enough, as if he's reaching for something wilder, something that can't be contained within the 6 string cage."
REEL RECORDINGS (CANADA)
is a composer whose wild explorations and sonic extensions of the electrified guitar set him aside from the famed British guitar heroes of the late '60s and '70s. Ray's rhythm and blues roots with
The John Barry Seven
, and the
Graham Bond Organisation
were set aside by the urgent call of the free jazz movement, and a succession of classic recordings (
Rites & Rituals
Live at the ICA
The Running Man
) gave rise to his most challenging and ultimately rewarding suite of spectral sounds, the magnificent
. As always, percussionist
batters beyond belief alongside the darting double bass of
playing inimitable figurines from his flugelhorn. The quintet is finalized by tenor titan
who gives the last word in whirlwind intensity. Throughout the journey,
presents sonic caresses and searing assaults from all its featured participants, and its success has yet to be equaled.
Index of Artists