Down Beat (p.59) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] program of nicely crafted, mostly original pieces....His lines have a relaxed, nothing-to-prove confidence."
JazzTimes (p.109) - "His adeptness as a composer is revealed on the affecting 'Flirt,' which bears both clever polyrhythmic devices and soulful R&B elements along with a simple, catchy melody."
Personnel: Russell Malone (guitar); Russell Malone; Tassili Bond (bass instrument); Johnathan Blake (drum); Martin Bejerano (piano).
Audio Mixer: Katsuhiko Naito.
Liner Note Author: Russell Malone.
Recording information: Jazz Standard, New York, NY (09/09/2005-09/11/2005).
Photographers: Dena Katz; Jimmy Katz.
Arranger: Russell Malone.
Russell Malone's second CD for Maxjazz Live at Jazz Standard, Vol. 1 has a bit of a harder edge then Playground, his first session for the label. Well accompanied by pianist Martin Bejerano, bassist Tassili Bond and drummer Jonathan Blake on this live performances at the Jazz Standard, the guitarist focuses mostly on his challenging originals. "I Saw You Do It" is a marvelous example, an intricate, boundary stretching affair that is essentially a blues intermingled with post-bop and a touch of dissonance, while the breezy "Flirt" is more easygoing, built from a call and response pair of riffs that are developed into a full-fledged work. Malone's choice of Frank Rosolino's "Blue Daniel" may turn a few heads as he slowly transforms it from a jazz waltz setting into a cooking hard bop vehicle. He finally shares his lyrical side with a beautiful interpretation of Milt Jackson's "Heartstrings" that perfectly conveys its bittersweet message. Highly recommended. ~ Ken Dryden