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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 8 reviews
VINE VOICEon June 14, 2010
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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on February 22, 2017
Can't imagine this as less than 5 stars. Cerebral, chill, accessible, soulful avant-garde performed by monumentally great musicians without a hint of pretense. Purchased the 2009 Kepach remaster; audiophilious but would be great even in low-fi. Lush, tribal, space-age, refined --the adjectives are just flowing for this one. I can see an influence on Eivind Aarset and Nils Petr Molvaer, and a definite intertext to McCoy Tyner ca. Sahara.
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on May 14, 2014
George Russell's "Electronic Sonata" cd reminds me of Miles Davis' shocking brilliance with his "Bitches Brew" cd. Both have the resonating tone color and buildup that make this avante style of straightaway jazz so hard hitting, shocking and breaks all conventions. This album definitely is not predictable and if you like your jazz this way...then this is the cd for you.
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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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on April 25, 2013
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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on March 30, 2015
Tried to open my mind to this, couldn't do it, just noise to me. One of the few downloads I took off of the cloud.
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