Kansas City jazz musician Russ Long died of heart failure on New Years Eve, after a long struggle with congestive heart failure. He was 69.
On December 3rd, he'd celebrating the release of Time to Go: The Music of Russ Long, a CD with 13 original compositions and a bonus track: Russ singing Cole Prorter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," a leftover from a 2001 session. Most of the tracks are arranged for a seven-piece ensemble that sounds amazingly rich. There's also a solo accoustic guitar rendition of "Never Was Love" by Pat Metheny, who as a teenager played in an organ jazz ensemble with Long.
I talked with bassist Gerald Spaits, a long-time bandmate of Long's, who produced and co-arranged the CD. This feature aired on KCUR.
Too often older jazz musicians die without getting the recognition they deserve. Russ Long got to hear some of his tunes performed by some of the best musicians around, many of them dear old friends.
Time to Go: The Music of Russ Long is available on CD Baby.