Chicago native Frank Russell has been playing bass since age 14. As a recording and touring bassist Frank has worked with such diverse artists as; Freddie Hubbard, Ramsey Lewis, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Wallace Roney, Darryl Jones, Alphonse Mouzon, Henry Johnson, Robert Irving III, Willie Pickens, Ari Brown and many others.
He has also recorded five CDs with Chicago guitarist Henry Johnson and is a past recipient of the Hennessy Best of Chicago Jazz Search with the Ken Chaney Xperience. Frank’s debut CD, Covering All Basses, was released in 2005 with his sophomore follow-up Circle Without End released in 2011.
As a leader, Frank recently completed his third recording project – Influences. The album features some of the most iconic recordings by Frank’s bass heros, re-arranged and revitalized with a fresh new sonic treatment including; Stanley Clarke’s Quiet Afternoon, Herbie Hancock‘s Actual Proof and Pat Metheny’s Bright Size Life. Closing the recording is the title track, written and narrated by Frank Russell taking on the styles of these bassists. The recording features some world renown musicians including; Wallace Roney – trumpet, Henry Johnson – guitar, vocalist – Dee Alexander and Miles Davis’ keyboardist and musical director – Robert Irving III.
Additional, participants on the recording project include Frank’s band with Tim McNamara (saxophone and flute), Charles Heath (drums), Vijay Tellis-Nayak (keys) and Marco Villarreal (guitar) also, Chicago’s own renown musicians; Khari Parker and Makaya McCraven (drums) and Greg Spero (keys).
“I can’t imagine a more suitable artist for a project like this — not only because Frank is such an astute chronicler of the bass guitar’s evolution in jazz, but also because he can illustrate every stylistic development along the way. Bonus points for the
fact that he himself has a distinct sound of his own, allowing him to write his own name into the instrument’s history.”
Neil Tesser – Grammy Award Winning Author and Jazz Critic.