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Boomkat Product Review:
By the time he made his first commercially released LP with the NRG Ensemble in 1981, Hal Russell had already spent the better part of a decade experimenting with different sidemen, formations and instrumentations. Russell started leading bands whilst living in Florida at the tail end of the '60s, and on his return to Chicago he set out to form an ideal working unit. Russell toughed out the '70s without making a record, but he didn't refrain from documenting the shifting lineups and evolving musical ideas along the way. In fact, when he died, he left a cache of hundreds of recordings in the care of his right-hand man, saxophonist Mars Williams. These extraordinary tapes provide an incomplete yet fascinating survey of Russell's pre-NRG career (as well as the lesser known NRG years) - and, over time, the Unheard Music Series intends to make the most arresting and significant of these available to the public.... Kick-starting the Hal Russell Archive mini series with this single concert, recorded informally on March 5, 1979, at the Elixir Gallery.