Russ Lossing

pianist . composer . improviser

Phrase 6 Reviews

Jazz Abiellee Musique   Feb. 2005

Label : Fresh Sound New Talent

Russ Lossing

Phrase 6

Virgil (Russ Lossing) - Down by the Glenside (Peadar Kearney) - Koan (Russ Lossing) - Phrase 6 (Russ Lossing) - Spider's Web (Russ Lossing) - Silent Knowledge (Russ Lossing) - ZeroUno (Lossing/Hebert/Williams) - Canto 1 (Russ Lossing) - Dexterity (Charlie Parker)

Russ Lossing, piano

John Hebert, basse

Jeff Williams, batterie

Une vraie force de la nature. Avec près de 200 œuvres enregistrées (en classique et en jazz), des participations en tant que sideman ou leader sur plus de trente CD, dix-sept musiques de films et de documentaires, Russ Lossing est ce que l’on appelle un stakhanoviste du clavier… Il se présente lui-même comme un pianiste, compositeur et improvisateur, et on retrouve bien ces caractéristiques sur son nouvel album chez Fresh Sound, qui le présente en trio, en compagnie d’un très présent John Hebert (basse) et d’un Jeff Williams impérial aux baguettes. Pianiste au jeu très « tacticien », compositeur aux plaisirs variés, Russ Lossing est surtout un improvisateur qui continue de se faire plaisir devant un piano, longtemps, très longtemps après qu’il ait découvert cette joie. Etant enfant pour être précis, dès l’âge de dix ans, alors qu’il se destinait à la musique classique. Phrase 6porte les stigmates d’une éducation libre et tournée vers la joie de l’instant présent, de la combinaison immédiate, du flux non intentionnel. Un modèle du genre.

Jazz Times May 2005 issue

Russ Lossing is a pianist who always has structural issues on his mind, even

when he engages in freeform improvisation. Working alongside an

exceptionally aligned trio on Phrase 6 (Fresh Sound New Talent)

comprised of bassist John Hebert and drummer Jeff Williams, Lossing

directs performances that balance spontaneity with consciously formal

playing. (Not so surprising coming from a pianist who reimagined the

work of Bela Bartok on the Change of Time album.) The result though is

refreshingly unstilted and, at times-hear the Irish ballad "Down By the

Glenside'"-strikingly lyrical. Lossing can give you a lot to chew on, as

in "Canto 1," an open-ended improvisation that stretches over 11

minutes, but his own thoughtful playing, as well as the supple interplay

of Hebert and Williams, consistently maintains interest. And the

closer, a down-tempo take on Charlie Parker's bop head "Dexterity,"

effectively displays Lossing's smarts and sense of humor.

-Steve Futterman

All About Jazz New York

Phrase 6

Russ Lossing  | Fresh Sound New Talent

By Jeff Stockton   July 2005  newspaper issue

Fresh Sound launched its New Talent series in 1995 and has stayed true to its name by recording a stream of New York unknowns, including the debut of the Bad Plus. Continuing this established piano trio pedigree, composer and leader Russ Lossing (a typical jazz “newcomer,” having arrived in town in 1986) works with his current trio (featuring bassist John Hebert and drummer Jeff Williams) with the adventurous intrepid sense of spelunkers coursing through a cave. He’s heady, but here his thinking is turned to mixing melody with strict forms and linearity with more open and abstract concepts.

     Everything on Phrase 6 is a first take and the band creates music that leads you to the edge of a mysterious abyss. “Virgil” subverts the listener’s expectations, and perhaps those of the players, by spinning long lines that never seem entirely to rest, ending phrases where a phrase would usually begin. “Down by the Glenside” taps into the collective lyrical unconscious of the musicians with an Irish folk melody, and on “Spider’s Web,” piano and bass play sinuously in unison over skittering drums, bringing Lossing’s method into focus: each strand of an idea interlocks with and informs the other. “Canto 1” offers pure melody and wide open improv, freed from conventional beginnings and endings, while Charlie Parker’s “Dexterity” gets a brief reading with fluctuating tempo, its bebop lyricism slowed down just enough to savor.

    The thrills on Phrase 6 derive from the riddles Lossing constructs for his partners. The trio navigates tricky forms with dense chords, daring bass arpeggios and sharp rhythmic patterns, and each musician is presented with a series of choices. Whether they join up with or harmonize around each other at any given moment demands quick decisions and sidemen able to make them—and here, Lossing has it all.

Phrase 6 and All Things Arise

Pubblicato: 08-03-2007

Vincenzo Roggero

Russ Lossing non suona “alla maniera di ..”, perché il suo stile è assolutamente personale, decisamente borderline rispetto ai classici riferimenti presenti nel bagaglio tecnico ed esperienziale di qualsiasi musicista. Da una parte vi è una solida formazione accademica, dall’altra la frequentazione dell’area creativa del jazz con musicisti quali Paul Motian, Michael Formanek e Matt Maneri, ed il risultato è la figura di un pianista e compositore atipico, voce tra le più interessanti e singolari dell’attuale panorama jazzistico. Phrase 6 e All the Things Arise rappresentano una sorta di stato dell’arte pianistica nella musica improvvisata secondo Russ Lossing, declinata nelle sue forme canoniche del trio e del piano solo.

Russ Lossing

Phrase 6

Fresh Sound


Valutazione: 4 stelle

Phrase 6 vede all’opera il pianista accompagnato per la prima volta da John Hebert al basso e Jeff Williams alla batteria, dopo i precedenti dischi incisi con Paul Motian e Ed Schuller. Il cambio di formazione va visto nel senso di un definitiva consapevolezza della propria maturità espressiva, non più in soggezione rispetto alla personalità di mostri sacri della musica improvvisata.

E lungo le nove tracce dell’incisone si respira l’aria di una profonda libertà improvvisativa consapevole e lucida, con i tre musicisti che si ascoltano, si rincorrono lungo sentieri ora paralleli ora convergenti, si abbandonano alle proprie fantasie per poi ritrovarsi. Le composizioni di Phrase 6 posseggono una dimensione astratta, la leggerezza e l’impalpabilità di certe nuvole estive, sembrano apparire dal nulla e nel nulla si dissolvono. Ma il disco si chiude, non a caso, con “Dexterity“ di Charlie Parker, come a rivendicare, comunque, l’imprescindibilità dalla tradizione afroamericana.