As a young guitarist, John Russell’s love for improvisation grew from 1970 onwards. Two years later and he’d already played Ronnie Scott’s, the ICA and elsewhere and his love of free music has continued ever since. He also launched the renowned Mopomoso to showcase improv, that name now being part of the furniture of the UK’s free music scene. During lockdown, John has used time in isolation to extend his relationship with his rather fragile 1933 Epiphone Masterbuilt Blackstone and that will be his weapon of choice for his exclusive performance at GIOFest XIII.
“for Russell the fingerboard is apparently multiple. He finds new tones in the same place, new relationships in the same gesture. A second trip across the fingerboard is always a different excursion. The harmonic is a transparent sound: silence and ambient sound pass through it. It accounts for Russell’s unhurried pace and his sense of order, even when he’s playing fast: there’s simply so much going on.” - Stuart Broomer, Point of Departure