A pair of modern moments from George Russell – back to back on a single CD! Stratusphunk is not "phunk", in the way you might think of "funk" – but an album that sets a whole new standard for modern jazz in the 60s – thanks to the fresh ideas of George Russell! Russell's in his best modal mode here – and there's a highly rhythmic construction to most tunes – layers that build beautifully, and which have a sharper edge than some of George's earlier work in the 50s – a balance that's better heard than described by our words, and which is completely compelling right from the start. The vibe is modern, but things still swing beautifully – and players are mostly younger musicians eager to follow Russell's leadership on piano – Dave Young on tenor, David Baker on trombone, Alan Kiger on trumpet, and Chuck Israels on bass. Titles include "Lambskins", "Stratusphunk", "New Donna", "Kentucky Oysters", and "Bent Eagle". Stratus Seekers is key work from the guy who put the "modern" in modern jazz – the great George Russell, heard here in the company of some younger players who definitely help him seek out some new territory in music! The record's got a wonderful balance between sharp edges and swing – a sound that few others could handle so well as Russell – and which bears some links to George's bigger concept albums in the 50s, but comes across with a sound that's much leaner, and which easily makes this record one of the most striking modern sides on the Riverside label at the time! Players are all great – and include Don Ellis on trumpet, Paul Plummer on tenor, John Pierce on alto, and Steve Swallow
on bass – plus Russell on piano and Joe Hunt on drums. Titles include "Stereophrenic", "Pan Daddy", "Kige's Tune", and "Blues In Orbit".