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Russell Malone

An adept jazz guitarist with a clean attack and fluid, lyrical style, Russell Malone often plays in a swinging, straight-ahead style weaving in elements of blues, gospel, and R&B. Born in Albany, Georgia in 1963, Malone first began playing guitar around age four on a toy instrument, quickly graduating to the real thing. Largely self-taught, he initially drew inspiration listening to the recordings of gospel and blues artists including the Dixie Hummingbirds and B.B. King. However, after seeing George Benson perform with Benny Goodman on a television show, Malone was hooked on jazz and began intently studying albums by legendary guitarists like Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery.

By his twenties, Malone was an accomplished performer, and in 1988 joined organist Jimmy Smith's band. Soon after, he also became a member of Harry Connick, Jr.'s big band, appearing on Connick's 1991 effort, Blue Light, Red Light. With his growing reputation as a sideman, Malone next caught the attention of pianist/vocalist Diana Krall, with whom he would work throughout much of the '90s and 2000s. Also during this period, Malone appeared with a bevy of name artists including Branford Marsalis, Benny Green, Terell Stafford, Ray Brown, and others.

As a solo artist, Malone made his debut with 1992's Russell Malone, followed a year later by Black Butterfly. In 1999, he released Sweet Georgia Peach, which featured a guest appearance from pianist Kenny Barron. Malone kicked off the 2000s with several albums on Verve, including 2000's Look Who's Here and 2001's orchestral jazz-themed Heartstrings. He then moved to Maxjazz for 2004's Playground, featuring a guest appearance from saxophonist Gary Bartz, followed by 2010's Triple Play.

Over the next several years, Malone appeared on albums by Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, and Ron Carter, as well as Krall bandmate bassist Ben Wolfe. In 2015, he returned to solo work with the eclectic small-group album Love Looks Good on You, followed in 2016 by All About Melody, both on HighNote. ~ Matt Collar
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Live At Jazz Standard Vol. 2

1. Mugshot

2. For The Love Of You

3. Theme From Gunsmoke

4. How About Me?

5. Don't Point That Over Here

6. Playground

7. Sugar Buzz

x

Track List: Live At Jazz Standard - Volume One

1. He Said What?

2. I Saw You Do It

3. Flirt

4. Blue Daniel

5. Mean Streak

6. Heartstrings

7. Malone Blues

x

Track List: Heartstrings

1. Heartstrings

2. How About Me

3. Loved Ones

4. You needed Me

7. Why Try To Change Me Now

8. The Bad And The Beautiful

9. Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry

10. What A Friend We Have In Jesus

x

Track List: Look Who's Here

1. The Angle

2. Look Who's Here

3. Alfie

4. The Odd Couple

5. Soulful Kisses

6. Get Out Of Town

7. You Will Know

8. The Heather On The Hill

9. An Affair To Remember

10. Be Careful, It's My Heart

x

Track List: Sweet Georgia Peach

1. Mugshot

2. To Benny Golson

3. Strange Little Smile With You I'm Born Again

4. Sweet Georgia Peach

5. Rise

6. Mean What You Say

7. Song For Darius

8. Bright Mississippi

9. Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat

10. For Toddlers Only

11. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Wow! I'm at a loss for words, this is some seriously ultimately best jazz playing I've ever heard. Thank you!
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So good!!!
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Didn't know who Russell was until I saw that a CBS jazz recording artist was playing at a tiny venue in NJ, in the late 1990s. He came out in a red silk blazer, black gaberdine pants with just a stand up base player. He wowed the audience, and I've been a huge fan ever since!!! Great artist!!
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tonyprsn
That was an awesome track
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Russell sounds as if Wes is playing or Kenney. A testament to how this fellow is!
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Cool cat
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A wonderful way to start my morning;~)
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Russ is my cousin and he is a wonderful talent.
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Dig..
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rjgmaitai
i love this
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Like the slow music
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fasabel
A TASTEFUL ENGAGING USE OF RHYTHM ANF MELODY
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Sun shines every time i hear malone
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Beautiful. He never puts out a bad track. Will look to buy his albums and see him if he comes to Oz. Stay true to your jazz Russell!
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Love this!
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Yo the way he controlled the cords and over layed them with hidden melodies and melodic rythem was is why this track shud be shared .
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rknapp98
Can anyone tell me how to find out who is playing on each of the tracks? The selected discography is lame. rknapp@socke t . n e t
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Smooth notes, keep on coming Russell.
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This is one my favorite songs from Russell.My 2 year old son sways too it lol.
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I LOVE this tune. SO BEAUTIFUL. BRAVO Russell!
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clifford.vaz
great styling , relaxing and smooth technique
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Great
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amycmac
:> ;o :D :}
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cannondonald 2 8
I'm definitely going to put this song on my album asap
Report as inappropriate
LOVE IT! It soothes and touches your soul
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nazar.tsitsy a l a
as smooth as a baby's bottom
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amycmac
;o
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I'm loving this.....ver y smooth.
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alex8448
Great music! relaxing, smooth
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dlrichtm
His beautiful playing reminds me of a gently babbling brook.
Report as inappropriate
Surprised they don't mention his Krall years in the bio. Definitely continuing the legacy of Charlie Christian, Wes, Grant and others, but puts that nice quick vibrato on notes, almost a BB King or Django touch. Very likable and recognizable player.
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kfranks58
Nice... I am a jazz novice but even I can tell this is some good music.
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WoW ! Made me look up from the book I was reading. This is superb music.
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jrvinson45
Such a sweet sound. Hard to believe the guitar strings are made of steel. I'll sign up to be a fan!
Report as inappropriate
wow! I find it too easy to get comfortable with many musicians, but this is a guitarist who is constantly moving and surprising at every note!
Report as inappropriate
I went to elementary school with Russell in Albany GA and remember his guitar (electric) being a regular companion. I am very proud of this talented artist and look forward to an opportunity to catch him live. I have enjoyed his music over the years ( solo and with Dianne Krall).
Report as inappropriate
I've had the pleasure of seeing Russell Malone perform the last couple years for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho. What a wonderful guitarist!

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