RIP George Russell

George RussellJazz composer George Russell has passed away. His publicist has released that he died due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease on Monday at the age of 86.

Russell, a MacArthur fellow who is credited with the first theoretical contribution to music from jazz with The Lydian Theory, published in 1953 and responsible for first introducing modal improvisation, taught at the New England Conservatory. His theories were said to influence the modal playing of both Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

Russell’s family has said a memorial service is to be planned though the details have not yet been announced.

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