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Russell Malone's new CD, Live at Jazz Standard Volume One, is not as Live as it should be. It was recorded over a three night gig and Mr. Malone evidently chose the "best" version of each tune. This compilation of tunes is not necessarily placed in the order they were played at the live venue. Which is disappointing. I would have much preferred a real live recording with flaws and such, than this 'almost perfect' product.
Russell is a very charismatic personality as I witnessed first hand this past January at Yoshi's in Oakland. At that show, Russell played a few tunes, then recapped them. Or he introduced a personal composition with a funny story about it.
No denying his music is very enjoyable (Flirt is my absolute favorite), but this is not the Live recording I was hoping for. The only saving grace is that the audience was not too overbearing like on the Jazz at the Bistro album with Benny Green.
I did not enjoy Malone Blues because it was overly distorted to my ear. His working band of Martin, Tassili, and Johnathan are superb. Especially Johnathan Blake - he is a complete joy to watch. I found myself watching Mr. Blake more than Mr. Malone at times.
Jazzy cheers to all.
Kandie Webster in Washington State
2006-11-02 10:33:04 Kandie,For the record, I'm rather inclined to agree with you regarding live recordings generally. Certainly, no one can blame RM (or anyone else) for wanting to put his best foot forward, so to speak, and as the producer of the album, the opportunity to cherry-pick the best versions over the three nights was probably an irresistable temptation for him. However, (and this is a testimony to RM's skills as a producer), with the advanced digital/technological options available today for post-production mixing, there is all-too-often a risk of sliding over into the "slick" which detracts from the rough-cut quality I tend to prefer in live CDs.I'll confess that I've only gotten familiar with Malone during the past couple of years (via Benny Green, who gave a clinic @ Drake Univ. that I wrote about here on AAJ). Moreover, I haven't had the chance to catch RM live -- Des Moines isn't exactly on everyone's standard tour itinerary, if you know what I mean. Obviously, you're a very knowledgeable fan, and as such I certainly respect your opinion.Thank you for your remarksBest regards,Vic
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