Russell Malone

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Russell Malone
Russel Malone.jpg
Background information
Birth nameRussell Malone
Born (1963-11-08) November 8, 1963 (age 55)
Albany, Georgia, United States
Years active1980s–present
LabelsColumbia, Impulse!, Venus, Verve, Telarc, Maxjazz, HighNote
Associated actsJimmy Smith, Harry Connick, Jr., Diana Krall

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]


Studio albums[edit]

year title label notes
1992 Russell Malone Columbia
1993 Black Butterfly Columbia
1998 Sweet Georgia Peach Impulse!
1999 Wholly Cats (rec. 1995) Venus as Russell Malone Quartet [7]
2000 Look Who's Here Verve
2001 Heartstrings Verve
2004 Bluebird Telarc with Benny Green
2004 Playground Maxjazz
2010 Triple Play Maxjazz
2015 Love Looks Good on You HighNote
2016 All About Melody HighNote
2017 Time for the Dancers High Note [8]

Live albums[edit]

year title label notes
2003 Jazz at the Bistro Telarc with Benny Green
2006 Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One Maxjazz
2007 Live at Jazz Standard, Volume Two Maxjazz

As sideman or guest[edit]


  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.
  7. ^ "Russell Malone Quartet - Wholly Cats". Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Russell Malone | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  9. ^ Yanow, Scott. "All for You (A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio) - Diana Krall". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 August 2017.