A 70s issue of 2 seminal sides from George Russell, originally recorded in the 50s. The first, New York New York is a wonderful album from George Russell – and a refreshing change from his overly-academic modernist work! The session's an unusual one – a musical portrait of New York City, performed with an all-star cast that includes John Coltrane, Art Farmer, Bill Evans
, Phil Woods, Benny Golson, Max Roach, and Hal McKusick – all working together to paint tones on the tunes that George has crafted to set up his scene of New York in the 50s. Most importantly, though, Jon Hendricks acts as the narrator of the album – talking and scatting in hipster mode, laying out a bit of beat rapportage about the Big Apple, all done in a very cool 50s style that's a bit different from his own vocal work. Titles include "Manhattan", "Big City Blues", "Manhattan-Rico", and "A Helluva Town". And don't let the title of the second, Jazz In The Space Age, mislead you into thinking it's a record of bachelor pad musi. The set's one of Russell's finest recordings of the 50s, and it features some wonderful work in odd tones and scales, executed by another awesome cast of players, including Bill Evans
, Paul Bley, Hal McKusick, Bob Brookmeyer, and David Young. An essential chapter in Russell's career, and nice to have in any form. Titles include "Chromatic Universe (parts 1, 2, & 3)", "Dimensions", "Waltz From Outer Space", and "The Lydiot".
(Cover has a spot of residue on the back, light wear, and some aging.)