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Russell Malone: Triple Play

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Guitarist Russell Malone has found a durable and receptive home at MAXJAZZ, resulting in three fine recordings: Playground (2004); Live at Jazz Standard, Volume 1 (2006); and Live at Jazz Standard, Volume 2 (2006). He sports an elegant, unpretentious method and a shimmering, round and slightly velvety tone that compliments his considerable abilities. Triple Play is Malone's first trio recording, proving that the best jazz is created in small spaces. Malone's grasp of the blues is beyond question. He addresses the great Oliver Nelson's “Butch and Butch," from Blues and the Abstract Truth (Impulse!, 1961), with funky ...

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Russell Malone Trio at Jazz at the Bistro, St Louis, October 20, 2010

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Russell Malone TrioJazz at the Bistro SeriesSt Louis, MOOctober 20, 2010 Guitarist Russell Malone returned to the Bistro, somewhat more exposed this time, his guitar in a trio with bass and drums. His companions for this visit were David Wong on acoustic bass and Darrell Green on drums. This session might be best described as an advance release celebration for his newest album Triple Play (MAXJAZZ, 2010) soon due to market. Pre-release copies were available for those attending. Richard McDonnell, founder of the St. Louis prominent jazz label, MAXJAZZ, was on hand for the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russell Malone: Live at The Jazz Standard, Volume Two

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Jazz was meant to be recorded live on the bandstand. It is spontaneous music ruled by improvisation and invention in real time. There exist precious few bad live jazz recordings. This is a ready indication of the high quality of musicianship jazz requires for proper performance and the necessity of said jazz musicians to think quickly on their feet. MaxJazz has been making it a point to capture its artists in live settings and has done so with unparalleled success, continuing to do so with guitarist Russell Malone.

Where Russell Malone channeled Grant Green on the first half ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russell Malone: Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One

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Dedicated to the memories of jazz guitarist Ted Greene and jazz pianist John Hicks, this session features Russell Malone at work in New York with his band during a spirited three-night run at the Jazz Standard in September 2005.

Always one to keep the blues alive in his mainstream jazz programs, Malone communicates eloquently through his guitar with a soft-edged attack that carries vocal-like through the room, as if lyrics were attached to every phrase.

It goes way beyond his experience backing pianists Harry Connick, Jr. and Diana Krall. Before that, Malone moved around some; from his home in Albany, ...

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Montreal Jazz Festival Day 10: July 7, 2007

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5-1 | Day 5-2 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11

Day Ten of the 2007 Festival International de Jazz de Montreal replayed the refrain of diversity, ranging from mainstream to fusion, from established artists to stars-in-the-making. It was also an ideal day to check out the third edition of the Montreal Musician and Musical Instrument Show (MMMIS) and its new offshoot, the Montreal Guitar Salon--two shows that demonstrate the Festival's desire to promote ...

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Montreal Jazz Festival Day 9: July 6, 2007

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5-1 | Day 5-2 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11

As the 2007 Festival International de Jazz de Montreal entered its home stretch, two performances demonstrated the eclectic diversity of jazz--one, an exploration of the nexus between world music and jazz, the other a cutting edge performance that pushes the limit of the modern mainstream. Such ventures are de rigueur for a festival that, while generally focused on jazz, views music as a ...

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Russell Malone: Live At Jazz Standard

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Russell Malone played a week-long engagement at Jazz Standard in November, ostensibly to promote the release of this album. Malone was backed on both ventures by the solid rhythm section of bassist Tassili Bond, pianist Martin Bejerano and drummer Johnathan Blake.

A lyrical, inventive guitarist, you can almost see Malone thinking out loud on the bandstand. And once he's formulated his ideas, it's full speed ahead, with dazzling rapid-fire arpeggios and single-note lines punctuated by octaves. He brightened the straight-ahead “I Saw You Do It with humorous quotes from “Jeannine and Branford Marsalis' “The Ballad of Chet Kincaid. “Flirt ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russell Malone: Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One

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Russell Malone usually doesn't like to write about his recordings, he says, preferring instead “to let the music speak for itself." However, he makes an exception here to point out that this is his first live recording with his working band, a fact that's a little surprising to learn. Malone goes on to note his gratification at being able to make this recording at the Jazz Standard, terming it “one of the finest venues in New York." (Incidentally, several top-shelf CDs recorded there have been reviewed at AAJ.)

One of the great things about a live recording is the opportunity ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russell Malone: Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One

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Russell Malone gets his Grant Green freak on....

Guitarist Russell Malone answers his well-received Playground (MaxJazz, 2004) with this, his first live recording, documenting performances at New York's Jazz Standard. Malone has traded recent over-populated groups for his working band, a simple piano trio. The trio, under crack pianist Martin Bejerano's sharp direction, conveys a solid momentum and cyclotron swing.

Only two “standards appear among the disc's seven pieces, and Malone easily proves himself an excellent composer. The guitarist opens the disc with his “He Said What?, a soul-jazz romp with a Latin tinge. Malone provides ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russell Malone: Playground

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MaxJazz, which has showcased jazz musicians in series devoted to various instruments (piano, horns, vocals), tapped guitarist Russell Malone to launch its String Series—an inspired choice, as Malone is one of the fastest rising stars on the contemporary jazz horizon, a superb technician who plays with exceptional warmth and congeniality.

Playground is basically a quartet date showcasing Malone’s working group with brief guest appearances by two highly accomplished and widely underrated artists, vibraphonist Joe Locke (“Sugar Buzz”) and alto saxophonist Gary Bartz (“Mandela”). Malone wrote six of the ten selections, including those two, and while I’ve nothing against Malone the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russell Malone: Playground

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Considering the breadth of his talent, it is somewhat surprising that Russell Malone has recorded somewhat sparingly as a leader. On this, his sixth and arguably best disc to date, he confirms his status as one of the most versatile straight-ahead jazz guitarists playing music today. Malone is at home in a wide range of styles and here he clearly shows just how well he can play in many of them. Joined by his working quartet with pianist Martin Berjano, bassist Tasili Bond, and drummer E.J. Strickland, the leader solidly swings through his own tasteful production of six originals and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Russell Malone: Playground

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Russell Malone is a guitarist’s guitarist. He shares with Joe Pass the distinction for being equally a superb accompanist and leader, as evidenced by recordings with Diana Krall, Harry Connick, Jr., Shirley Horn and Wynton Marsalis—as well as his own recordings. He opens MaxJazz's inaugural String Series with two originals for jazz quartet. “You Should have Known Better" is a breezy, almost pop-oriented piece that features Malone’s brilliant chord soloing, heavily influenced by George Benson. “Blues for Mulgrew" is a straight-ahead offering that blazes at light speed out of the current Jazz Mainstream. Malone plays musical pinochle with pianist Martin ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benny Green and Russell Malone: Jazz at The Bistro

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Russell Malone can play it all -- rock, pop, country, blues, jazz -- you name it. But as anyone who has heard his recording knows, he's most at home (and comfortable) when he's playing jazz. And we as listeners are rewarded with some of the most beautiful sounds, tones and phrasing possible on the guitar. On Jazz at The Bistro, Malone is joined by pianist Benny Green. While live recordings in small rooms (and St. Louis's The Bistro is a small club) can be even more difficult to properly record than “regular" live recordings, Jazz At The Bistro is an ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ray Brown, Monty Alexander, Russell Malone: Ray Brown, Monty Alexander, Russell Malone

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At the risk of being cloying and maudlin, one knows that all good things must come to an end. But you don't have to like it. This his final coda, a two CD-set for Telarc, is the last known recording of one of the most prolific, rewarding (especially for his legions of listeners) and successful in jazz history. Reading Ray Brown's discography is about the same as reading the history of recorded jazz. To try and select one or even two handfuls of the “best of Ray Brown" would not only be patronizing, but an exercise in futility and not ...



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