Russ Lossing

Phrase 6

Fresh Sound New Talent

Russ Lossing (p), John Hebert (b), Jeff Williams (d)

Reference: FSNT-205

Bar code: 8427328422055

"Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Russ Lessing has been active on the New York scene creative jazz scene since 1986. He has working with some of the leading minds of the modern idiom, such as Dave Liebman, Paul Motian, John Abercrombie, Michael Formanek, and Mat Maneri.

Russ Lossing's two previous CDs, "Dreamer" (Double Time) and "As It Grows" (hatOLOGY), included eloquent liner-notes tributes from Richie Beirach and Art Large, respectively. Itis humbling to join such esteemed company. It is also thrill to ponder at lenght the work of Russ had his trio companions, bassist John Hebert and drummer Jeff Williams. Their achievement on this new album, "Phrase Six", doesn't require the aid of words. But I'm happy to share a few thoughs on the backgroung of this extraordinary pianist, and the nine splendid tracks you are about to hear."

- David Adler (contributing writer for Jazz Times, Down Beat)


01. Virgil (Russ Lossing) 8:13
02. Down by the Glenside (Peadar Kearney) 5:42
03. Koan (Russ Lossing) 6:39
04. Phrase 6 (Russ Lossing) 7:45
05. Spider's Web (Russ Lossing) 5:13
06. Silent Knowledge (Russ Lossing) 8:41
07. ZeroUno (Lossing/Hebert/Williams) 8:43
08. Canto 1 (Russ Lossing) 11:36
09. Dexterity (Charlie Parker) 4:14

Total time: 67:24 min.

Russ Lossing (piano), John Hebert (bass), and Jeff Williams (drums).

Recorded by Paul Wickliffe at Charlestown Road Studios, New Jersey, on February 9, 2004.



"Add Russ Lossing to the current list of jazz piano luminaries such as Jean-Michel Pilc, Jason Moran, and Frank Kimbrough., who deliver complex and progressive music. A veteran with a classical background, his new release shows discipline yet openness that challenges and engages the mind as well as the ear. The music is punctuated by the thundering lines of bassist Jon Hebert and insistent drumming by Jeff Williams that fit nicely with Lossing's interesting ideas. Lossing's playing is filled with exhausting and probing solos and the music for the most part plays around loose themes rather than straight melodies allowing the trio to freely intermingle. This is not your typical comfy piano trio but they do yield deep rewards for the progressive listener."

-Mark F. Turner (All About Jazz, January 2005)


"La presente grabación guarda un fuerte paralelismo con el último trabajo de John OGallaghers Axiom Line Of Sight: las fechas de grabación están muy próximas (separadas escasos 10 días a comienzos del 2004); los dos editados por Fresh Sound New Talent, con lo que el hecho de que el lugar de grabación sea el mismo no resulta extraño; y la formación pasa de cuarteto (dos saxos, contrabajo y batería) a trío con la misma sección rítmica, cambiando el elemento protagonista (saxos) por el piano. Y si bien la apreciación de este disco de forma aislada nos basta para destacar suficientes matices, la fortuna de poder contrastarlo con el trabajo citado de John OGallagher nos permite exprimir aún más el resultado del presente.

La aportación de la sección rítmica es muy parecida a la encontrada en Line Of Sight: la batería despliega un continuado pero asíncrono golpeo de los elementos del instrumento, generando una atmósfera pesada, descolocada; el contrabajo busca puntualizar los compases casi al mismo tiempo que la batería, buscando ese mínimo desfase temporal capaz de generar una sólida pantalla sonora. Con la anterior descripción, quedan contextualizados los desarrollos melódicos de Russ Lossing: la grabación queda por completo cubierta por una densa y oscura niebla sonora crecida desde el piano. Y es aquí donde cabe de nuevo el contraste con Line Of Sight: es sencillo imaginar Spiders Web con dos saxofones como instrumentos solistas, con lo que el tema resultaría retorcido pero claro, tenso pero resulto, y potente a gritos, extrovertido. Y sin embargo, el resultado es enmarañado y oscuro, con una tensión acumulada que no llega a liberarse, y de una potencia visceral, introvertida.

Phrase 6 es un trabajo en el que pesan por igual contrabajo, batería y piano. Con una atmósfera opresiva, intrigante. Un CD con el que se termina por añadir tres nombres desconocidos (o ignorados) hasta el momento a la lista de personajes buscados entre los créditos discográficos (seguro que nos llevamos más de alguna sorpresa al revisar nuestras colecciones).

-Sergio Masferrer (


"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. Hes 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 listeners 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 Spiders Web, piano and bass play sinuously in unison over skittering drums, bringing Lossings 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 Parkers 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 themand here, Lossing has it all."

- Jeff Stockton (All About Jazz)


"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 (Jazz Times)


$11.91  (tax incl.)

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