Born in Albany, Georgia, Russell Malone grew up playing a variety of music. Eventually, he made jazz his main focus, but he never lost his appreciation of other styles. Malone, who now lives in New Jersey, was 25 when, in 1988, he was hired as a sideman by the seminal organist Jimmy Smith. He went on to back Harry Connick, Jr. from 1990-1994 and spent four years working with Diana Krall, in addition to guesting on numerous recordings. Malone first recorded as a leader in 1992, and since then has led many sessions for diverse labels.