Hal Russell

Saxophone, Musical Artist

1926 – 1992


Who was Hal Russell?

Hal Russell was an American free jazz musician. He performed mainly on drums and saxophone, but occasionally on trumpet or vibraphone. Russel's fiery music was marked by significant humor, not unlike much of Dutch drummer Han Bennink's output. His music was so accessible that People magazine hailed The Finnish Swiss Tour on ECM as one of its top 5 albums of the year. Russell set the table for the free improv and free jazz scene which exploded later in the 90's in Chicago. Russell led the NRG Ensemble until his death.

Cited by some as a missing link between the AACM and later Chicago free jazz, Russell was experiencing greater public awareness before his death. He recorded or performed with Ken Vandermark, Steve Hunt, Kent Kessler, Brian Sandstrom, Mars Williams, The Flying Luttenbachers and with The Hal Russell NRG3, accompanied by James Owens on bass and Ed Ludwig on percussion..

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Aug 28, 1926
Also known as
  • Russell, Hal
  • United States of America
Sep 5, 1992

on July 23, 2013


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