Leon Russell: The Master of Space and Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, December 5th, 2023  

Bill Janovitz

Leon Russell:  The Master of Space and Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History

Published by Hatchette

Mar 29, 2023 Bookmark and Share

Author Bill Janovitz shouldn’t have to feel moved to make the case for Leon Russell’s relevance in the preface to Leon Russell: The Master of Space and Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History, during which he mentions how Elton John’s lobbying was instrumental in Russell’s 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. However, with so much of Russell’s activity taking place in the background of sessions and studios in his early years, it’s understandable that even longtime fans may not be aware of the background of his profound influence.

The Master of Space and Time follows Russell from his Tulsa beginnings that were sparked from backing Jerry Lee Lewis to his time contributing to countless ’60s studio sessions as part of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound and the Los Angeles session legends known as the Wrecking Crew and far beyond. A long list of accomplishments include Russell’s assembling of Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen, his involvement with George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh, a notable solo career that made him a top concert draw in the early ’70s, and a Grammy-nominated collaboration with Elton on their 2010 album, The Union.

As the book provides a fascinatingly detailed account of Russell’s multifaceted career and numerous projects, it also delves along the way into related subjects deserving of attention, such as the formation and influence of the ensemble Delaney & Bonnie and Friends that included Russell among its rock royalty. Janovitz’s compulsively readable examination of Russell’s colorful life is the definitive account that this complex figure has long deserved.

(hachettebooks.com; leonrussell.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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