Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

All hail "the fighters"

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Emmanuel Macron criticized for "living like a king"

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Power restored at world's busiest airport

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

‘Mexico will not finance US wall,’ foreign minister says

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

AU: African nations must prepare for potential return of thousands of jihadists

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR Congo former child soldiers awarded $10 million in damages in landmark ruling

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Website roots out 'Rotten Apples'

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Putin's press conference; Alabama Senate election; One Planet Summit

Read more

#TECH 24

WorldRemit: Helping migrant workers send money back home

Read more

Culture

Jazz fusion pioneer George Russell dies

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-28

US jazz musician and composer George Russell has died at the age of 86 in Boston from complications with Alzheimer's. He was particularly renowned for being one the first to explore mixing jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms.

AFP - George Russell, a jazz innovator and collaborator with Miles Davis and John Coltrane, has died in Boston, his publicist said Tuesday. He was 86.
  
"Russell died yesterday evening in Boston from complications with Alzheimer's," Sue Auclair said.
  
Russell's website describes him as a "hugely influential, innovative figure in the evolution of modern jazz, the music's only major theorist, one of its most profound composers, and a trail blazer whose ideas have transformed and inspired some of the greatest musicians of our time."
  
He was born in 1923 in Cincinnati and got his musical start playing drums in the Boy Scouts.
  
His most important musical education came in 1941 when he was hospitalized for tuberculosis treatment and learned the fundamentals of harmony from another patient.
  
In 1947 he had a premier of "Cubano Be/Cubano Bop" at Carnegie Hall, the first fusion of jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms.
  
Later he developed theories of tonal organization and published a text book in 1953 that is seen as a seminal work to this day.
  
In the mid-50s he won recognition for "The Jazz Workshop," an album said to anticipate jazz-rock sounds that came 20 years later.
  
The success meant he no longer had to work extra jobs at lunch counters and at Macy's toy shop in New York. He was commissioned to write music for the inaugural Brandeis Jazz Festival in 1957 where he worked with a who's who of New York jazz artists.

Date created : 2009-07-28

COMMENT(S)