Arthur Russell Essentials

Arthur Russell was an extraordinarily gifted musician whose talent flowed unobstructed into myriad areas of musical culture. Born in Iowa in 1951, Russell rose to prominence in the ‘70s and ‘80s through New York’s downtown music scene, where he engaged with avant-garde, disco, experimental, classical, and more, working with artists such as Philip Glass, David Byrne, and Allen Ginsburg. His disco orchestrations were both profoundly complex and thoroughly hip, employing cello and horns in a radically vanguard way. He is perhaps most famous, though, for his use of amplified cello, the reverberated timbres of which provided an impeccably lush counterpoint to his angelic voice and candid words. His intimate solo recordings remain the nucleus of his genius, the extent of which may never even be fully known, as a tremendous amount of unreleased tapes and demos continue to be discovered since his untimely death in 1992.