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Russell Malone: Time for the Dancers

Read "Time for the Dancers" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The flame lit so brightly many years ago by guitarist Wes Montgomery continues to burn with intensity thanks to gifted torch-bearers like Russell Malone whose third album for HighNote Records, Time for the Dancers, not only mirrors Montgomery's singular musical temperament but ushers it into aesthetic realms that would surely have had Wes nodding his approval. Another similarity: Malone's irrepressible charisma shines through on every number, from Roland Hanna's “Time for the Dancers" to Malone's solemn “Flowers ...

INTERVIEWS

Russell Malone: Guitar Master

Read "Russell Malone: Guitar Master" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

"People make too big of a deal about being self taught. Because nobody is completely self taught," ruminates Russell Malone, one of the best loved jazz guitarists by both fans and critics. His sound is full and rich; his fingers fleet,the ideas springing from his head to his hands with speed and dexterity. But the origins of his style and the status he's achieved do not have academic connections. He's learned from people. And not just about music. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Russell Malone: Triple Play

Read "Triple Play" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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

Read "Russell Malone Trio at Jazz at the Bistro, St Louis, October 20, 2010" reviewed by James Henry Smith

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Russell Malone: Live at The Jazz Standard, Volume Two

Read "Live at The Jazz Standard, Volume Two" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

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, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Russell Malone: Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One

Read "Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One" reviewed by Jim Santella

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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Russell Malone: Live At Jazz Standard

Read "Russell Malone: Live At Jazz Standard" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Russell Malone: Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One

Read "Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One" reviewed by Victor Verney

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Russell Malone: Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One

Read "Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Russell Malone: Playground

Read "Playground" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Russell Malone: Playground

Read "Playground" reviewed by Russ Musto

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, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Russell Malone: Playground

Read "Playground" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

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 ...


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