Ever since he hit the national scene, in the late 1980s, Russell Malone has made two things very clear. First, he plays with exquisite taste, at any tempo and in any setting. And second, his tastefulness hasn't crowded out his overwhelming technique: from the start, his ability to construct firecracker solos, exploding with complexity and virtuosic finesse, has never been in doubt. But on All About Melody Malone homed in on strong melodies. "I prefer to play songs that stick in my head, and in the listener's head" paired with harmonic schemes that might prompt imaginative improvisations. And indeed, each of the pieces Malone included on this session meets the bill. And they have one additional virtue: they are played by Russell's working band of Rick Germanson, Luke Sellick and Willie Jones III. Together they are able to selflessly convey the essence of these melodies and prove, to paraphrase Beethoven, "what comes from the heart, goes to the heart."
RUSSELL MALONE, guitar • Rick Germanson, piano • Luke Sellick, bass • Willie Jones III, drums
TRACKS: On the Real Side • Message to Jim Hall • Message From Jim Hall • Nice Lady • Sound for Sore Ears • When a Man Loves a Woman • Saving All My Love for You • Jive Hoot • Haunted Heart • Biskit • He's Gone Away
On the Real Side
Message to Jim Hall
Saving All My Love for You