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One year ago: George Russell

George Russell, a composer and theorist who studied the forms and methods of jazz, died one year ago at age 86.

As jazz writer Don Heckman explained, "Russell was a rare spokesman for the study of theoretical principles in an art form that emphasizes improvisation and spontaneity."

Russell's great legacies are his 1953 treatise "The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization" and the recording that followed, "The Jazz Workshop."

Watch Russell describe the theory in the YouTube video, and read more from Heckman's obituary of George Russell that appeared in The Times.

-- Claire Noland

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