Russell Malone

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Russell Malone
Russel Malone.jpg
Background information
Birth nameRussell Malone
Born (1963-11-08) November 8, 1963 (age 59)
Albany, Georgia, United States
Years active1980s–present
LabelsColumbia, Impulse!, Venus, Verve, Telarc, Maxjazz, HighNote

Russell Malone (born November 8, 1963) is an American jazz guitarist. He began working with Jimmy Smith in 1988 and went on to work with Harry Connick, Jr. and Diana Krall throughout the 1990s.[1]


Malone was born in Albany, Georgia, United States. He began playing at the age of four with a toy guitar his mother bought him. He was influenced by B.B. King and The Dixie Hummingbirds.[2] A significant experience was when he was twelve and saw George Benson perform on television with Benny Goodman. He is mostly self-taught.[3][4]

Starting in 1988, he spent two years with Jimmy Smith, then three with Harry Connick Jr. In 1995, he became the guitarist for the Diana Krall Trio,[3] participating in three Grammy-nominated albums, including When I Look in Your Eyes, which won the award for Best Vocal Jazz Performance. Malone was part of pianist Benny Green's recordings in the late 1990s and 2000: Kaleidoscope (1997), These Are Soulful Days (1999), and Naturally (2000). The two formed a duo and released the live album Jazz at The Bistro in 2003 and the studio album Bluebird in 2004. They toured until 2007.

Malone has toured with Ron Carter, Roy Hargrove, and Dianne Reeves and has done session work with Kenny Barron, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Jack McDuff, Mulgrew Miller, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson. He recorded his first solo album in 1992 and has led his own trio and quartet.[3] Other guest appearances have included Malone with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and pianist Hank Jones in celebration of his 90th birthday. In October 2008 he performed in a duo with guitarist Bill Frisell at Yoshi's in Oakland, California. During the next year, Malone became a member of the band for saxophonist Sonny Rollins, celebrating his 80th birthday in New York City.

Malone recorded live on September 9–11, 2005, at Jazz Standard, New York City, and Maxjazz documented the performances on the albums Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One (2006) and Live at Jazz Standard, Volume Two (2007). Appearing on these two volumes, and touring as The Russell Malone Quartet, were Martin Bejerano on piano, Tassili Bond on bass, and Johnathan Blake on drums. Malone's 2010 recording Triple Play (also on Maxjazz) featured David Wong on bass and Montez Coleman on drums. His album, All About Melody featured pianist Rick Germanson, bassist Luke Sellick, and drummer Willie Jones III.[5][6]


As leader[edit]

  • Russell Malone (Columbia, 1992)
  • Black Butterfly (Columbia, 1993)
  • Sweet Georgia Peach (Impulse!, 1998)
  • Look Who's Here (Verve, 2000)
  • Heartstrings (Verve, 2001)
  • Ray Brown Monty Alexander Russell Malone (Telarc, 2002)
  • Jazz at the Bistro with Benny Green (Telarc, 2003)
  • Playground (Maxjazz, 2004)
  • Bluebird with Benny Green (Telarc, 2004)
  • Live at Jazz Standard Vol. One (Maxjazz, 2006)
  • Live at Jazz Standard Vol. Two (Maxjazz, 2007)
  • Triple Play (Maxjazz, 2010)
  • Love Looks Good on You (HighNote, 2015)
  • All About Melody (HighNote, 2016)
  • Time for the Dancers (HighNote, 2017)

As guest[edit]

With Ray Brown

  • Some of My Best Friends Are...Singers (Telarc, 1998)
  • Christmas Songs with the Ray Brown Trio (Telarc, 1999)
  • Some of My Best Friends Are...Guitarists (Telarc, 2002)

With Harry Connick Jr.

  • We Are in Love (Columbia, 1990)
  • Blue Light Red Light (Sony, 1991)
  • When My Heart Finds Christmas (Columbia, 1993)

With Benny Green

  • Kaleidoscope (Blue Note, 1997)
  • These Are Soulful Days (Blue Note, 1999)
  • Naturally (Telarc, 2000)

With Diana Krall

With Houston Person

With David Sanborn

  • Timeagain (Verve, 2003)
  • Closer (Verve, 2005)
  • Here & Gone (Decca, 2008)

With others


  1. ^ Neuroth, Matt. (2008). Bio: Russell Malone. Retrieved January 13, 2008 Down Beat
  2. ^ "Billy Taylor's Jazz | Guest Artist: Russell Malone". NPR. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  3. ^ a b c Yanow, Scott (2013). The Great Jazz Guitarists. San Francisco: Backbeat. p. 128. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6.
  4. ^ Jung, Fred. "A Fireside Chat with Russell Malone". Jazz Weekly. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  5. ^ Collar, Matt. "All About Melody". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  6. ^ Chinen, Nate (2 June 2016). "Jazz Listings for June 3–9". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 June 2017.