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Russell Malone: A Walking, Comping Soloing Encyclopedia

Guitarist shares thoughts on jazz guitar in listening session

Russell Malone TD Toronto Jazz Festival 2008

A player of extraordinary facility with a warm tone and engaging presence, guitarist Russell Malone broke onto the scene in the late 1980s with organ legend Jimmy Smith and went on to high-profile gigs with Harry Connick Jr. and Diana Krall in the 1990s. He began recording as a leader with his self-titled debut on Columbia in 1992, and subsequently released albums on Impulse, Verve and Telarc before hooking up with MaxJazz for 2004’s Playground. His most recent MaxJazz release, last year’s Triple Play, is a trio outing featuring bassist David Wong and drummer Montez Coleman.

The guitarist toured throughout 2010 as a member of Sonny Rollins’ band, and recently has been working in a trio featuring pianist Mulgrew Miller and bassist Ron Carter. An astute listener and scholar of the music, Malone, 47, showed an uncanny ability to identify the following guitarists in just a few notes.

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