Russell Malone Quartet

Nov 11, 2017

ENTER TO WIN HERE!

“Obviously, we are in the capable hands of a master. Absolutely fluid touch and beautiful integration between moving lines and harmonic cadences. The sound of the instrument is well-balanced throughout the entire register. The relaxed quality of everything that ‘s being played gives it such a warm feeling. To play that stuff is extremely hard. This is an absolute master, the best of the best.“ –Kurt Rosenwinkel, responding to Russell Malone’s solo performance of “Remind Me” on Playground [MaxJazz, 2004], in a DownBeat Blindfold Test.

Russell Malone is one of the signature guitar players of his generation. The leader of ten albums since 1992, and currently on tour in support of his new release Time For The Dancers, Malone is as well-known on the international circuit for helping a world-class quartet and trio as he is for his long-standing participation in Ron Carter's Golden Striker Trio, and his recent consequential contribution to the musical production of the likes of Sonny Rollins and Dianne Reeves, who recruited Malone for his singular tone, refined listening skills, limitless chops, and effortless imagination.

"If 2016's All About Melody album showcased Russell Malone's love of a good melodic song, then 2017's Time for the Dancers finds him building upon that sentiment and celebrating his affinity for sweet, rhythmic grooves. The guitarist's third album for High Note, Time for the Dancers is a fluid, engaging production that finds Malone straddling the line between urbane, acoustic jazz standards, earthy funk, and virtuosic balladry. Helping him achieve this superlative balance are longtime bandmates pianist Rick Germanson, bassist Luke Sellick, and drummer Willie Jones III. Together, they play with the kind of nuanced interplay and sensitivity that come with years of live performance -- which they have.

With his acoustic, hollow-body guitar and warm, un-effected sound, Malone comes off as a grounded, no-nonsense musician; a swing-friendly progenitor of straight-ahead jazz and standards. All of which is true and evident here. That said, he's also an incredibly soulful improvisationalist with a wide-ranging ear for all kinds of music. What's so invigorating about his approach is just how seamlessly he is able to incorporate all that he hears into one gorgeously realized style. In that sense, he brings to mind a balance of such elder luminaries as Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, and yes, George Benson." - AllMusic.com

In all circumstances, Malone addresses the tradition on its own terms, refracting the vocabularies and syntax of such heroes as Charlie Christian, Chet Atkins, George Van Eps, Johnny Smith, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, Pat Martino, and George Benson into an argot entirely his own. A master of all tempos, a relentless swinger, he spins his stories - in idioms ranging from the urban and downhome blues, country, gospel, various corners of the American Songbook, and hardcore jazz - with soulful, instantly recognizable instrumental voice, and seasons them with sophisticated harmonies that are never "too hip for the room.

I take pride on being open enough to play with anybody, says Malone, citing encounters with such diverse artists as B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Andy Williams, Jimmy Smith, Diana Krall James "Blood" Ulmer, and Ornette Coleman. "I love to swing but I don't look down my nose at other styles of music, or other musicians. I'll play with anybody, if the music is good."