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Russell, Hal NRG Ensemble w/ Charles Tyler: Generation (NESSA)

In 1992 Chicago saxophonist & drummer Hal Russell selected compositions from each of his band members and one from Mars Williams, added Charles Tyler on baritone, alto and clarinet to the quintet, and released this wildly creative and energetic album of modern jazz.

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product information:

UPC: 827020002520

Label: NESSA
Catalog ID: NES 25
Squidco Product Code: 19177

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Solid Sound Studios on September 9th, 1982 and January 10th, 1981 by Judd Sager.


Hal Russell-tenor saxophone, cornet, vibraphone, drums

Charles Tyler-baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, clarinet

Chuck Burdelik-alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet

Brian Sandstrom-bass, electric guitar, trumpet

Curt Bley-doublebass, electric bass

Steve Hunt-drus, vibraphone

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Artist Biographies:

"Charles Lacy Tyler (July 20, 1941 - June 27, 1992) was an American jazz baritone saxophonist. He also played alto saxophone and clarinet.

Tyler was born in Cadiz, Kentucky, and spent his childhood years in Indianapolis. He played piano as a child and clarinet at 7, before switching to alto in his early teens, and finally baritone saxophone. During the summers, he visited Chicago, New York City and Cleveland, Ohio, where he met the young tenor saxophonist Albert Ayler at age 14. After sering in the army from 1957-1959, Tyler relocated to Cleveland in 1960 and began playing with Ayler, conmuting between New York and Cleveland. During that period played with Ornette Coleman and Sunny Murray.

In 1965 Tyler recorded Bells and Spirits Rejoice with Alyer's group. He recorded his first album as leader the following year for ESP-Disk. He returned to Indianapolis to study with David Baker at Indiana University between 1967 and 1968, recording a second album for ESP, Eastern Man Alone. In 1968, he transferred to the University of California, Berkeley to study and teach. In Los Angeles, he worked with Arthur Blythe, Bobby Bradford, and David Murray.

He moved back to New York in 1974, leading his own groups with Blythe, trumpeter Earl Cross, drummer Steve Reid and others, recording the album Voyage from Jericho on Tyler's own Akba label. In 1975, Tyler enrolled at Columbia University and made an extensive tour of Scandinavia, releasing his second Akba album Live in Europe. In 1976, he performed the piece "Saga of the Outlaws" at Sam Rivers's Studio Rivbea, released two years later on Nessa Records. During that period he played as a sideman or co-leader with Steve Reid, Cecil Taylor and Billy Bang.

In 1982, during a European tour with Sun Ra's Orchestra, he relocated to Denmark, and in 1985 he moved to France, recording with other expatriates like Khan Jamal in Copenhagen and Steve Lacy in Paris.

Tyler died in Toulon, France of heart failure in June 1992."

-Wikipedia (

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Brian Sandstrom is a Chicago based guitarist and bassist known for his work with NRG Ensemble.

-Squidco 1/15/2019

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Steve Hunt is a drummer/percussionist in groups Caffeine, FJF, NRG Ensemble, Witches & Devils.

-Discogs (

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track listing:

1. Sinus Up 3:46

2. Poodle Cut 12:54

3. Sponge 10:45

4. Tatwas 3:22

5. Cascade 19:11

6. Generation 3:50

7. This Fence Is A Loving Machine 4:29

8. Uncontrollable Rage 13:53
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"What a remarkable thing. Here is the legendary, late Hal Russell and his fine NRG Ensemble jamming with Cleveland native Charles Tyler (on all but two cuts). This is the kind of session that is always rumored, or fans wish would happen, but almost never does. In any case, the proceedings live up to their potential.

The non-Tyler cut is the opener, "Sinus Up," composed by bassist, guitarist, and trumpeter Brian Sandstrom. It includes a percussive, minimal figure built up on the guitar as the primary rhythm instrument. It's quick, furiously dramatic, and features killer guitar and vibes solos. "Poodle Up" is a multiple-themed tune typical of Russell, which features him playing tenor and soloing first in a chase melody, followed by Tyler on baritone, who uses the modal blues in his own solo. The band charges with these 12-note runs that alternate in scale and pitch and repeat until a new theme is introduced, but surprise -- it's the old theme restated in a different cadence.

Mars Williams composed "Sponge," and it is a crazy, loopy, almost carnival-like piece where clowns chase each other through the crowd. Sandstrom stabs into the center of the tune on his trumpet solo and he's followed by Tyler's extroverted, R and B-honking baritone solo, which makes the rest of the band charge up behind him and carry it out. As on any NRG Ensemble recording, there are no dull moments, but this one is supplanted by the joy, wisdom, and immaculate sense of the unknown that Charles Tyler brought to the date."-Thom Jurek,

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Leo Records
Sextet Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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