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GRussell Ezzthetics cover.jpg
Studio album by George Russell Sextet
Released 1961
Recorded 8 May 1961
Genre Avant-garde jazz, free jazz, post-bop
Length 42:29
Label Riverside Records
Producer Orrin Keepnews
George Russell Sextet chronology
George Russell Sextet in K.C.
(1961)George Russell Sextet in K.C.1961
The Stratus Seekers
(1962)The Stratus Seekers1962
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide 5/5 stars[2]

Ezz-thetics is an album by a sextet led by the jazz composer and music theorist George Russell. It features a re-reading of Russell's title composition and a radical reworking of Thelonious Monk's standard "Round Midnight" with an extended solo by Eric Dolphy. The title song, "Ezzthetic", was dedicated to, in Mr. Russell's own words, "the late, great heavyweight boxing champion of the world, Ezzard Charles".

The recording features trombonist Dave Baker whose trombone career was cut short causing him to take up the cello. He went on to become a major composer of jazz and modern classical music. Don Ellis went on to lead his own successful big band. George Russell was awarded the MacArthur "Genius" Award in 1989 and is captured here in a rare piano appearance. Eric Dolphy was a major artist in the "New Thing" branch of jazz but also appeared with Charles Mingus in one of his greatest small groups. Dolphy died a few years later due to complications of diabetes in Europe while on tour and was quickly elected to the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. Steve Swallow went on to become a major practitioner of the electric bass and is close associated with the music of Carla Bley. Joe Hunt is a well known drummer associated with Mr Russell's groups, as well as Stan Getz and Bill Evans, who rose to fame with George Russell for his famous solo on Russell's "All About Rosie".

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Ezz-thetic" (Russell) – 8:57
  2. "Nardis" (Miles Davis) – 4:34
  3. "Lydiot" (Russell) – 8:06
  4. "Thoughts" (Russell) – 5:26
  5. "Honesty" (David Baker) – 8:55
  6. "Round Midnight" (Thelonious Monk) – 6:29
  7. "Kige's Tune" (Al Kiger) (take 2) *
  8. "Kige's Tune" (Al Kiger) (take 5) *

* Bonus tracks, issued for the first time on 2007 CD remaster:



  1. ^ Yanow, Scott (2011). "Ezz-Thetics - George Russell | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Swenson, J. (Editor) (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 174. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.