Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Benny Green/Russell Malone: Bluebird

Pianist Benny Green and guitarist Russell Malone are contemporary jazz musicians in the best sense of the term; great musicians whose repertoire includes blues, soul, pop, bop, Afro-Latin and even hip-hop. There’s no rap on Bluebird, but almost everything else is present, from the funky framework of Milt Jackson’s “Reunion Blues” to the tremendous reworking of Charlie Parker’s “Passport” to Stevie Wonder’s playful “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.”

Malone’s playing on “It’s Alright With Me,” “Bluebird” and “Passport” are fluid and fast. Though still greatly influenced by both Grant Green and George Benson, Malone has also developed his own voice to the point that there’s very little of either guitarists’ sound reflected in his phrasing on such songs as “Feel Like Makin’ Love” or “Moonglow,” and his work on Oscar Peterson’s “Wheatland” and Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale” rivals anything his predecessors might have done on the same numbers.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published