The music Mr. Russell made on his own put a scruffy, casual surface on rich musical hybrids, interweaving soul, country, blues, jazz, gospel, pop and classical music. Like Willie Nelson, who collaborated with him, and Ray Charles, whose 1993 recording of “A Song for You” won a Grammy Award, Mr. Russell made a broad, sophisticated palette of American music sound down-home and natural.
I wasn't a fan of Leon Russell. He seems more like he supported a lot of greats (Elton John, John Lennon, George Harrison) with his session playing and songwriting. Still, Russell seems like he was a good guy, and I know a lot of people who are just as saddened by his passing as they are at the passing of Leonard Cohen. Jeez, 2016 has been a terrible year for music. How much worse could it get?
I have no idea who this person even is. The biggest news about a musician dying that I remember hearing was about the death of Leonard Cohen, who I barely even recognized. I have never even heard of Leon Russell. I don't know much about the music from the time period he was working.
No, although I recognize that Leon Russell was very prolific, and exceptionally gifted musician, I did not follow his music. Most of the music I have been exposed to from the seventies and eighties were introduced to me by my parents. Neither my mother nor father expressed interest in Russell's music.