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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If groove-based large electric jazz ensembles interlaced with pure moods could kill...I'd be dead, June 14, 2010
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This review is from: Electronic Sonata - 1968 (MP3 Music)
Okay, I wasn't around when this was released. So I'm not going to even pretend to know what impact it had on culture or vice-versa. I'm not old enough to remember a lot of jazz landmarks, but I can seriously acknowledge that the "Electronic Sonata" does not sound dated. I suppose some passages sound more late-60s than others (the wah guitar screams of the one they called Jimi), but they are few and far between and they do not detract from the overall picture of what's going on here.

One surprising thing about the old avant-garde is their ability to make noise that doesn't sound like antiquated mish-mash. As the "Electronic Sonata" alternates between its groovy movements built around a piano or electric guitar vamps and it's bottomed-out ambient and spacey counterparts, the latter sound so much more mysterious and contemporary than the former. I guess that's to be expected. But to not come across as embarrassing over forty years later? That's something.

And these weirder moments do not violently vie for your attention. George Russell used his skills as a composer to put pen to paper and summon a nebulous cloud of sound that sounds like little else long before Brian Eno had a solo career. No wonder he was a MacArthur fellow.

To be honest, I got this because the download price was so good. And I had read that this album is something of a touchstone in free jazz. I'd heard lots of free jazz and avant-garde before this, but this is something different altogether. It's a mammoth. It behaves differently from all the other experimental stuff being made at the time, and it's a very challenging listen likely to completely wear you out.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!, June 26, 2000
By 
Lesley (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Electronic Sonata 1968 (Audio CD)
George Russell occupies a very important place in jazz history on many levels, most importantly his influence on Dizzy Gillespie to include latin rhythms in his writing in the 50s. But _Electronic Sonata..._ is another landmark. I was pointed to this recording by Kodwo Eshun's awesome book _More Brilliant Than The Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction_. Over thirty years ago, George Russell was exploring the inner space as well as the outer space of jazz. He mixes a taped performance with a live performance and the result is astounding. Also, the incredible Jan Garbarek can be heard here at an early age. GO GET THIS RECORD if you like things like Sun Ra, P-FUNK, or Stockhausen, among other things.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding, September 24, 2011
This review is from: Electronic Sonata 1968 (Audio CD)
Outstanding! but then again it was the 70's when chances are you will have a great album.
I'm not much on writing reviews. I just know out of my 6,700 jazz Cd collection this CD
probably ranks about 340 out of 6,700.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Man, Am I Ever Glad to Have the Opportunity to Hear This One when I Want Now, April 25, 2013
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This review is from: Electronic Sonata - 1968 (MP3 Music)
I just wonder what direction my life might've taken had I heard this album in the '70's. The mix of at least two different decades results in what seems both timeless and innovative. Most of the Acid Jazz I managed to hear back in the '90's never reached the quality of the experience I received from this well-preserved work. Thank you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars excellent, October 18, 2009
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This review is from: Electronic Sonata 1968 (Audio CD)
This album is neither as heavy or out there as you may gleen from the title.

Basically, George Russel sets the suite up here using a simple blues line, but the horns run comblex subtitutions through this pattern. The piece strolls into some free impovasation--no steady beat so you are floating in space-then reestablishes the inital line.

There is a fantastically recorded organ part, and eletronics subtlely placed through the piece. This is not free or soul jazz, but one of those projects from a master eccentric who takes elements from all kinds of both music and subgenres of jazz.

Absolutely great record for fans of conventional or avant jazz.
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Electronic Sonata - 1968
Electronic Sonata - 1968 by George Russell
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