Lay Back


Music: Eddie Russ, Lyrics: Janice Jarrett

Both “Easy Goin,” and “Lay Back” (or “Laid Back”) describe Eddie’s attitude; he personified it comfortably. I watched audiences go through a transformation as he got through a set. From somewhat chaotic and noisy to more relaxed,.They also seemed to become more engaged with their companions. It felt magical to me, but I knew it emanated from his thoughtful, quiet demeanor and just flowed through his playing, whatever the tempo. Of the 13 collaborations of ours, there are two sambas, “By Night,” and “La Margaretta,” and some “funk” tunes and ballads. His style is from the Bob James, Deodato era that preceded Smooth Jazz, and mixed elements from pop, soul, jazz, and funk. (This clip is from Eddie’s LP “Take a Look at Yourself.” My LA 5-voice jazz group, Borrowed Time, sang my vocal arrangement of this at a medium funk groove.)

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Eddie Russ "Take A Look At Yourself" CDEddie Russ was a fantastic keyboardist and composer who was gigging even as a teenager in Pittsburgh clubs. He spent time in New York and California, but for some years played across Michigan. Although he worked with a great number of famous musicians, his solo career gave him a chance to record some memorable albums of his own. He received many awards and was a sought-after player and teacher. Russ gained tremendous popularity during his tours of Europe, where his “groove-laden” recordings were big hits. In 1995 a special tribute concert featured his treasured originals and demonstrated the affection held for him as a person. He passed in 1996 due to illness. He is missed.


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