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Where to start?
the excellent Soul Jazz comp 'World of Arthur Russell' (which focuses on this, but not exclusively) is a good place to start. Explores various projects of his like Loose Joints and Dinosaur L that the other comps don't really deal with.
Another Thought, Calling Out Of Context and World of Echo lean more towards the 'avant' side. All excellent. I'd say Context is probably my fav.
There's also Love Is Overtaking Me, which deals with his more country/singer-songwriter stuff. I can't say I'm really a fan of this, at least not yet. But I know a lot of people go mad for it, and what do I know anyway.
I think my problem is that I first heard him the other way 'round - i.e. from the Loose Joints end of the spectrum - and so when I did get round to Love Is Overtaking Me my main response was just "DUDE WHERE ARE THE BEATS!!?"
of 'Kiss me again'.
World of Arthur Russell, Calling Out of Context and Love is Overtaking me is what I'd recommend at first, probably in that order. All amazing.
Is there anywhere, or anyone that can provide a decent overview of his recorded output? It's a very complicated discography - I feel the need to root into it in a bit more detail.
But didn't he release material under different names - with different bands?
altho the 10min version is best. Schoolbell/Treehouse too.
World of Echo is one of the greatest 'albums', I think you can use the word in that context, I have ever heard. I wrote a little bit about it but it didn't really sum it up and mostly bollocks so i deleted it but yeh it's great.
I really like Dinosaur L's 24-24 Music too.