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MUSICIAN Born:

Russell Malone

Russell Malone's first guitar was a plastic green toy his mother bought him. Only four years old, Malone strummed the little guitar all day long for days on end trying to emulate the sounds he had heard from guitarists at church in Albany, Georgia. As a child, Malone developed an interest in blues and country music after seeing musicians on television like Chet Atkins, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Roy Clark, Son Seals, and B.B. King. Then, at age 12, he saw George Benson perform with Benny Goodman on Soundstage. Malone has said, "I knew right then and there that I wanted to play this music." A self-taught player, Malone progressed well enough to land a gig with master organist Jimmy Smith when he was 25

Love Letter

Label: Verve Music Group
Released: 2020
Track listing: Ballad From Upper Neighbor’s Suite; Left Alone; Inside Your Heart; Fashion Or Passion; Con Alma; Don’t Misunderstand; La Mesha; Don’t Explain.

ARTICLE: PROFILE

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Greta Matassa

Read "20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Greta Matassa" reviewed by Paul Rauch

The city of Seattle has a jazz history that dates back to the very beginnings of the form. It was home to the first integrated club scene in America on Jackson St in the 1920's and 30's. It saw a young Ray Charles arrive as a teenager to escape the nightmare of Jim Crow in the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jimmy Heath: Love Letter

Read "Love Letter" reviewed by Thomas Fletcher

Often nicknamed “Little Bird," Jimmy Heath began on the alto saxophone acquiring this informal title by dedicating his studies to Charlie Parker and his wee stature. Although not a familiar name to many outside of the devoted jazz community, Heath would go on to pursue a remarkable 76-year career sadly passing away in January, 2020. A ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jimmy Heath: Love Letter

Read "Love Letter" reviewed by Chris May

Love Letter is the final album to be made by saxophonist Jimmy Heath, who passed in January 2020 aged 93. It was completeted just a month earlier. The title is well chosen: the album is a love letter to jazz, a love letter to ballads, and a love letter to Heath's surviving family members, friends and ...

ARTICLE: IN PICTURES

John Pizzarelli Trio at Keystone Korner

Read "John Pizzarelli Trio at Keystone Korner" reviewed by Mark Robbins

From 1972 to 1983 NEA Jazz Master's award recipient Todd Barkan operated jny:San Francisco's Keystone Korner as one the preeminent jazz clubs in the country. Performers such as Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Betty Carter, McCoy Tyner and so many more played on the Korner's stage until, due to financial difficulties, Barkan had to close ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

I Sing Just to Know I'm Alive - Happy Birthday to Nina Simone

Read "I Sing Just to Know I'm Alive - Happy Birthday to Nina Simone" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This week we focus on new releases from pianist Jen Allen, vocalists Rosemary Loar, Simone Kopmajer, Casey Abrams and Ian Shaw, plus birthday shout outs to Nina Simone in the first hour (who also has a new single out), flutists Nicole Mitchell and Mayu Saeki, vocalists Nancy Wilson, Anne Phillips, Kellye Gray and Shirley Crabbe, violinist ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2019: The Year in Jazz

Read "2019: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The year 2019 was robust in many ways. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage to Australia. An important but long-shuttered jazz mecca was revived in a coast-to-coast move. ECM Records celebrated a golden year. The music and its makers figured prominently on the big screen. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four new NEA ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Moon's Up, Night's Up - Taking the Town By Surprise

Read "Moon's Up, Night's Up - Taking the Town By Surprise" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

The annual celebratory broadcast for Joni Mitchell included an assortment of her songs by various jazz artists, plus new releases from Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, Norah Jones, saxophonist T.K. Blue, singer/poet Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein), and vibraphone artist Lolly Allen; also more birthday shout outs to Chris Conner, Betty Bryant (going strong at ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

November Birthday Salutes Featuring ECM Artists

Read "November Birthday Salutes Featuring ECM Artists" reviewed by Marc Cohn

It is... time for November birthday salutes! Pianists Hampton Hawes, Ellis Marsalis, Paul Bley, Lyle Mays, Marcin Wasilewski; flutist Hubert Laws; singer Ernestine Anderson; guitarist Russell Malone; saxophonists Lou Donaldson, Mark Turner; trumpeters Arturo Sandoval & Don Cherry; drummers Andrew Cyrille & Billy Hart! And resident sage Mose Allison. You'll notice a slug of ECM artists ...


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