A tribute to the legendary bass guitarists in jazz. Influences features Frank Russell’s contemporary jazz interpretation of compositions written by or associated with bass guitar heroes of Frank’s including; Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, Marcus Miller, Darryl Jones, Stanley Banks and Paul Jackson.
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, Ken Chaney and many others.
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 bassist. The recording features some world renowned musicians including; Wallace Roney – trumpet, Henry Johnson – guitar, vocalist – Dee Alexander and Miles Davis’ keyboardist and musical director – Robert Irving III.
"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
I have had the good fortune to work with some of the world’s greatest jazz bassists and Influences, Influences, firmly places Frank Russell on this very short and prestigious list. This recording, both artistically and sonically is on the level of any major label release. Frank has assembled the finest musicians in Chicago and all of them turn in inspiring, highly motivated performances. As a bassist, Frank displays his virtuosic skills on lead, fretless and 5 string electric bass. The diverse track listing includes arrangements of well-known compositions from other renown bassists all of which are re-worked and re-imagined. The original material showcases Frank’s composition ability, in particular, Rosalind’s Dream (a tribute to his wife) is a work of art. This man has chops – and is adept at all styles of music with huge grooves and soaring solos. Of particular interest is Frank’s talent and ability to comp behind melodies and solos. Influences is one of the best recordings to emanate out of Chicago in recent years, and proves Frank Russell is indeed one of the greatest bassists not only in the city of Chicago, but in the world!
Kent Anderson – Record Executive / Producer / Bassist
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).