In the jazz world, Russell Malone is a big freakin’ deal; he’s an amazing guitarist, to whom Terrence has been compared.
T and I first saw him at Yoshi’s about 10 years ago, when he toured and played guitar in Dianna Krall’s band. Then we saw him about eight years ago, again at Yoshi’s.
And, about two weeks ago, T and I went to see Bobby Hutcherson (vibes) play at Yoshi’s SF because 1) Russell Malone was playing with him and 2) it was a great excuse to check out the new club.
So, I’ve got my eyes peeled to the stage door and I squeal (quietly, of course) “there’s Russell Malone” and T said, “Yep, I didn’t even think you’d recognize him” as Russell walked right past us. I responded, “Of course I’d recognize him, he’s Russell Malone!”
So, we waited for him to walk back and made our move. Terrence stood and said ‘hello’ and Mr. Malone was gracious enough to stop and talk with us for a bit. Of course I said something completely dopey, like “T has been a huge fan of yours and you’ve been a big influence on his playing” but in the grand scheme of things, maybe that wasn’t so bad.
T gave him a QuintEssential CD and he thanked him and then went on backstage.
Fast forward twelve days and I’m standing in the kitchen and I hear Terrence say all of a sudden, “Okay, I’m a little geeked out right now” — but, what that really translates into is “OMG, I’m totally starstruck right now!”. It was so cool —- I’ve never seen him get that way. Now, me, I’m another story — there’s no hiding my star struck-ness, and I don’t necessarily want to hide it, either, so there!
Anyway, come to find out, Russell Malone left a message for T on his voicemail… and it goes a little something like this….
“HELLO THIS IS A MESSAGE FOR TERRENCE BREWER. TERRENCE, THIS IS RUSSELL MALONE CALLING. THANK YOU FOR THE CD; IT WAS NICE TO MEET YOU BY THE WAY. I FINALLY GOT AROUND TO LISTENING TO IF AFTER I LEFT SAN FRANCISCO AND HEY IT’S REALLY NICE MAN I LIKE YOUR TONE AND I LIKE YOUR WRITING. SO, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK YOUNG MAN, YOU SOUND REALLY GOOD. 201-XXX-XXXX, LATER.”
Yep, he even left his phone number for Terrence to call him back – CRAZY and COOL all at the same time… hey wasn’t there a TLC song by that name… always music, always music