Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 05/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Approximately 55 min. Remastered sound. This album was a bridge of sorts between traditional jazz and the "new" thing then in vogue. This music swings like good jazz should,but also heads in the direction of atonal jazz. Russell was a composer,arranger and jazz theoretician. This might sound a bit off-putting,but don't let that dissuade you from enjoying some really fine jazz. His group, made up of Russell-piano,Don Ellis-trumpet,Dave Baker-trombone,Eric Dolphy-alto sax bass clarinet, Steve Swallow-bass and Joe Hunt-drums,know jazz backward and forward. Recorded in 1961,this was seen as a step forward in jazz,both in arranging and composing. The tunes are a mixture of swing and slower pieces,arranged so the album has a good flow. The two bonus cuts are different takes of the same tune-not essential but nice to have. George Russell was important to jazz-this album lets you hear why."
Perhaps George Russell's finest album
Dennis W. Wong | 02/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those uniniated to the avant garde or "outside jazz", this is a classic album in the same class as "Out to Lunch" which also was Eric Dolphy last solo album before leaving for europe. This album also features Dolphy in his classic solo on "Round Midnight" and of course, Russell's classic title tune based on the changes of "What is this thing called Love". The 24 bit remastering is superb and this edition features 2 unissued tracks. The late trumpeter Don Ellis is also featured in some great solos as well."
S. Wynn | Florida | 02/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The music is the definition of "Modernism", circa 1961. One of the many charms of the Russell albums is that they're oddly...I don't know--"dated" is a harsh word, and I happen to love "dated", but hearing the group play makes me think of some jumpin', hipster-filled hangout on a busy Saturday night in 1961. However, I love these recordings now because the playing is so interesting! Even when the music takes on a bluesy feel, one can still sense the edgy, avante-garde undercurrent, but with none of the pretentiousness. These works are alive! "Ezz-Thetics" has off-kilter rhythms, is sometimes atonal but usually swinging. The musicians Russell put together for this band are nothing short of amazing: Don Ellis (check out his "New Ideas" album), the brilliant Dave Baker on trombone (why he never became a legend is a mystery), a young Steve Swallow on bass and Joe Hunt on drums. Not to mention Eric Dolphy. Their version of "'Round Midnight" is sooo good! "Ezz-Thetics" is essential jazz."