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Look Who's Here

Russell Malone

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Album Review

A Wes Montgomery for the new millennium, this flashy yet honest hollow body guitarist captures all the exuberance and intimacy of the legend in the '60s, but with a certain modern attitude that makes this contemporary rather than just retro jazz. He and his quartet (pianist Anthony Wonsey, bassist Richie Goods, drummer Byron Landham) swing hard and high on the staccato punches of "The Angle," then smooth out just a bit for the heavy swaying blues of "Look Who's Here" (both Malone Originals). Malone has an amazing chemistry with Wonsey in particular, as their unique call and response, melody and harmony interplay on an upbeat twist on "The Odd Couple" makes abundantly clear. The best kinds of jazz albums feature a healthy mix of hard grooving jam sessions with plenty of improvisation, along with a few more intimate treasures. While there's a tender intimacy between guitar and steady percussion on Stevie Wonder's romantic "You Will Know," Malone's gentlest graces are saved for the sweet and wistful turn on Lerner and Loewe's "The Heather on the Hill." Before long, however, he's moving to the up groover category on "An Affair to Remember," which finds a happy medium between the exciting madness of the first few tracks and the eloquence of the ballads. With capable young lions like Malone on the scene, traditional jazz will stay healthy through the first years of the new century.

Customer Reviews

Great Artist!

Jazz (to me) is TRULY underrated! This guy is great!

Biography

Born: November 8, 1963 in Albany, GA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A fine guitarist who has made a stir with his Columbia records of the early to mid-'90s, Russell Malone started playing music when he was five. He was with Jimmy Smith's band for two years in the late '80s and since 1989 has often toured with Harry Connick, Jr. Malone's influences range from swing to...
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Look Who's Here, Russell Malone
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