Russell Malone Quartet
Sandi Pointe Ballroom 7:30 – 8:15 PM & 8:45 – 9:30 PM
Russell Malone – guitar, Rick Germanson – piano, Gerald Cannon – bass, Willie Jones – drums
Russell Malone has made an indelible mark on the guitar and continues forging a path as an ever-evolving artist. Born and raised in Albany, Georgia, he started making a name for himself as he moved to Houston, Atlanta and ultimately to New York City. One of his most pivotal career-shaping experiences was sitting in with the late, great organist Jimmy Smith in Atlanta and eventually joining his band in the late 1980s. Malone spent time touring as a member of bands led by the likes of Harry Connick, Jr. and Diana Krall. His self-titled debut in 1992 quickly went to #1 on the radio charts and was followed by Black Butterfly. Three more releases followed, Sweet Georgia Peach, Look Who’s Here and Heartstrings, before Malone launced the strings series for MAXJAZZ with his label debut Playground (2004). He followed that release with two volumes of the critically-acclaimed recordings Live at Jazz Standard (2006 & 2007). These days Malone is an integral member of bands led by Grammy Award winnng artists including the legendary saxophonist Sonny Rollins, vocalist Dianne Reeves and bassist Ron Carter as part of his golden Styker Trio (with label-mate and pianist Mulgrew Miller). Other career and musical influences include fellow guitarists Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, Bucky Pizzarelli, and John Collins, and vocal artists Sam Cooke, the Dixie Hummingbirds and Freddy Cole. Malone has played with a wide range of musicians from different music idioms. In addition to those previously mentioned, Malone has played with BB King, Hank Jones, Christina Aguilera, Patti Austin, Little Anthony, Regina Belle, Natalie Cole, David Sanborn, Peabo Bryson, the Winans, Kenny Burrell and Ray Brown.