WUSF All Night Jazz Focus Artist of the Week: Russell Malone

Russell Malone. Photo by んなこたない.

This week on All Night Jazz we’ll focus on guitarist Russell Malone, who turns 57 this week.   Born in Albany, Georgia on November 8th, 1963, Malone first played guitar at the age of four. Early influences were B.B. King and numerous gospel guitarists.

Eight years later he had an epiphany while viewing guitarist George Benson performing with Benny Goodman on television. It was at that moment Malone dedicated himself to jazz guitar.

In 1988 Malone spent two years working with organ legend Jimmy Smith. He then became the guitarist for Harry Connick, Jr.’s band through 1993.

In 1995 Malone made a series of recordings with the ascending singer Diana Krall, three of which were nominated for Grammys.

He was also a member of pianist Benny Green’s trio.

Malone is a gifted and diverse guitarist, comfortable in many idioms and jazz genres.

He has 15 albums as a leader, with two Grammy nominations and one win, and countless more as a sideman with a wide variety of jazz all-stars.

We’ll hear the guitar musings of Russell Malone, all week long on All Night Jazz.