Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Portrait of an Intellectual Jazzman

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Portrait of an Intellectual Jazzman

Article excerpt

Bill Russo

Portrait of an Intellectual Jazzman

Fresh Sound FSR-CD 527

A Recital in New American Music

The Bill Russo Ensemble: Gail Brockman (tp) Bill Russo, Bill Porter (tb) Chris Leuba, Ralph Meltzer (Fr-h) Clyde Bachand (tuba) Dom Carone (as) Kenny Mann (ts) Dan Handley (bs) Lloyd Lifton (p) Bob Leshner (g) Max Wayne (b) Mickey Simonetta (d) Shelby Davis (vcl)*, Chicago, August 15 1951 : An Esthete on Clark Street / S'posin'*

Bill Russo Quintet - Same session, Bill Russo (tb) Kenny Mann (ts) Lloyd Lifton (p) Max Wayne (b) Mickey Simonetta (d) only : Cathy / Cookie

The Bill Russo Orchestra, same session: Gail Brockman (tp) Bill Russo (tb) Chris Leuba, Ralph Meltzer, Ralph Macciocchi, Leon Mendelshon (Fr-h) Clyde Bachand (tuba) Martin Lerner, Larry Molinelli (fl) Robert Mayer (oboe) Wilbur Simpson (bassoon) Dom Carone (as) Kenny Mann (ts) Dan Handley (bs) Lloyd Lifton (p) Bob Leshner (g) Max Wayne (b) Mickey Simonetta (d) Shelby Davis (vcl)* : Ennui / Gloomy Sunday* / Vignette / Strange Fruit*

Shelby Davis

Same session, Lloyd Lifton (p) Bob Leshner (g) Max Wayne (b) Mickey Simonetta (d) Shelby Davis (vcl) only : I Can't Get Started / My Man

The World of Alcina

Bill Russo Septet: Bill Russo (v-tb) Bill Porter (tb) Bill Trujillo, Sandy Mosse (ts) Eddie Baker (p) Israel Crosby (b) Mickey Simonetta (d) Chicago, April 18 1955: Under the Greenwood Tree / The First Saturday in May / Speculum

Bill Russo Quintet: Bill Russo (v-tb) Bill Trujillo(ts) Eddie Baker (p) Israel Crosby (b) Mickey Simonetta (d) Chicago, April 19 1955 : Bill's Blues / L'affaire Bugs / For My Sister

Bill Russo Orchestra: John Howell, Al Mueller, Porky Panico, Dom Geraci, Dave Mulholland (tp) Tommy Shepare, Paul Grumbaugh, Paul Severson, Marc McDunn, Earl Hoffman (tb) Philip Farkas, Frank Brook (Fr-h) Don Hagner (tuba) Ronnie Kolher, Lennie Druss, Hobart Grimes, Vito Price, Mike Simpson, Gus Jean, Phil Wing, Kenny Soderblom (saxes and woodwinds) Eddie Baker (p) Mel Schmitt (b) Earl Bakus (g) Mickey Simonetta (d) Bill Russo (conductor) Chicago, May 6 1956 : Five Dances from The World of Alcina: Solo of Girl / Solo of Boy / Chorus and Solo of Girl / Duet for Boy and Girl / Chorus, Solo of Boy, Solo of Girl, Ensemble

Bill Russo first came to the attention of the jazz media in the late forties when he was leading an experimental rehearsal band in Chicago. His early attempts to present his music to the public were disappointing and resulted in neither critical nor popular acclaim. He persevered, however, and in 1951 came to the attention of Dave Usher of DeeGee records which resulted in a ten inch LP for that label (later reissued on Savoy) entitled A Recital of New American Music. This LP is the source the first ten tracks on this CD.

The musicians involved in this project were, I presume, all Chicago locals and the only ones familiar to me are the fluent trumpeter Gail Brockman, best remembered for his participation in early recordings by Gene Amnions, pianist Lloyd Lifton and bassist Max Wayne. …

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