298

Russell Malone: Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Russell Malone: Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One 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 a linear solo of anticipation and acquisition. His guitar temperament is perfectly balanced and his development measured. Bejerano builds a completely antithetical solo to Malone's, beginning his approach in an angular fashion, throwing the dynamics off just enough to create a subconscious interest. Malone reenters, shooting a machine gun fusillade of 32nd and 64th notes among the crashing cymbals of Johnathan Blake.

Another original, "I Saw You Do It, propels forward with a clock-perfect 4/4 swing maintained by bassist Tassili Bond, playing just behind the beat. Malone plays octaves and half octaves among his single-note and chord soloing. Blake drops Philly Joe rim shots like a carpet-bombing campaign. "Flirt is an off-waltz waltz characterized by Malone's silky smooth approach and tone. Blake's cymbal playing is light and delicate, crystalline and temporary as snowflakes. Frank Rosolino's "Blue Daniel provides Malone his ballad vehicle, buoyed by a complex rhythm and harmonic pattern. Bejerano's piano is almost independent of the piece, while still maintaining its harmonic scaffolding. Milt Jackson's "Heartstrings take off at a breakneck pace, full of blues and bop. Malone proves he has Joe Pass speed with his Wes Montgomery/Grant Green chording.

Malone finally makes it to the blues with a minor-key piece reminiscent of a marriage between "One More for the Road and "Angel Eyes. "Malone Blues is a perfect way to end a superb disc. Let's hope that Volume Two is not too far behind.

Track Listing: He Said What?; I Saw You Do It; Flirt; Blue Daniel; Mean Streak; Heartstrings; Malone Blues.

Personnel: Russell Malone: guitar; Martin Bejerano: piano; Tassili Bond: bass; Johnathan Blake: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Maximum Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Playing the 60s" CD/LP/Track Review Playing the 60s
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "The Long Good Friday OST" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Good Friday OST
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Snowmelt" CD/LP/Track Review Snowmelt
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 6, 2017
Read "Jim Crow's Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Jim Crow's Tears
by James Nadal
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "Beauty Within" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty Within
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!