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MX 0601
MALONE, Russell: Playground

MALONE, Russell: Playground

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2013

Originally recorded in 2013

Artists:

Russell Malone

Soloist

Tassili Bond

Soloist

Gary Bartz

Soloist

Record Label
MaxJazz

Genre:

Jazz Contemporary


Jazz Contemporary

Total Time - 52:00
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MALONE, Russell: Playground

     
Select Complete Single Disc for
 

RUSSELL MALONE

1 

You Should Know Better

06:37
 Tassili Bond Soloist
     
2 

Blues For Mulgrew

04:31
 Tassili Bond Soloist
     
 

BILLY STRAYHORN

3 

Something to Live For

03:51
 Tassili Bond Soloist
     
 

RUSSELL MALONE

4 

Sugar Buzz

04:44
 Tassili Bond Soloist
     
5 

Playground

05:25
 Tassili Bond Soloist
     
 

JEROME KERN

6 

One Night in the Tropics

04:19
     
 

ROGER NICHOLS

7 

We've Only Just Begun

04:59
 Tassili Bond Soloist
     
 

RUSSELL MALONE

8 

Invisible Colors

06:49
 Tassili Bond Soloist
     
9 

Mandela

07:03
 Gary Bartz Soloist
     
 

CAROLE KING

10 

You've Got a Friend

03:42
     
 Russell Malone Soloist


Russell Malone refuses to be pigeonholed into one category as a player, composer, or arranger on this outstanding album, the first release led by a guitarist for the Maxjazz label. With a powerful group supporting, including pianist Martin Bejerano, bassist Tassili Bond, and drummer E.J. Strickland, Malone is clearly at the top of his game. "Blues for Mulgrew" is built from a fairly simple blues riff, though it explodes into a complex post-bop vehicle with Bejerano either following Malone or playing in unison with him in a piece that almost borders on avant-garde. Equally explosive is his well-named "Sugar Buzz," a rapid-fire piece that adds guest Joe Locke on vibes. The strutting "Mandela," which almost seems to chant the word "freedom," features the soulful alto sax of Gary Bartz. Malone’s lyrical treatment of Billy Strayhorn’s "Something to Live For" is a gem, as are his solo interpretations of the overlooked chestnut "Remind Me" and a sparse but compelling "You’ve Got a Friend." The Carpenters’ huge hit "We’ve Only Just Begun" can come off hackneyed in the wrong hands, but Malone’s arrangement picks up the tempo and frees the rhythm section from just plodding along behind him, while he adds a humorous lick from Burt Bacharach’s "Say a Little Prayer." 

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