In a similar vein to Roy Ayers, Eddie Russ had developed a mastery of the sub genre of fusion jazz, and his fabulous sound can be demonstrated in his 1976 release entitled See The Light. Although there weren’t too many heavy names on this particular album, nor was Eddie Russ a household name amongst casual jazz listeners, this particular album is a great listen if you are a fan of Roy Ayers’ sound.
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Eddie Russ’ sound on See The Light is a mixture of disco, funk, jazz, and pop. While he may not be known to many jazz purists, you may know him from his sample from The Pharcyde‘s classic Passing Me By. It was a Eddie Russ sample that gave the signature saxophone for the hook of the song. Ironically, Eddie Russ may be known more for his contributions to Hip Hop than his contributions to Jazz.
As the discovery of samples in hip hop began to be discovered by DJ’s and crate diggers in the mid to late 90’s, a lot of artists from the 70’s were being rediscovered and celebrated, Eddie Russ’ life was cut short, passing while in his early 60’s. Although Russ could not see the impact of his music with today’s generation, his music will always live strong in the minds, bodies, and souls of fine jazz music connoisseurs such as ourselves.
Written by: @Haylow