Last Call Review: Frank Russell / Circle Without End / Sonic Portraits
Frank Russell is a bassist deserving wider recognition. On his second CD, Circle Without End, Russell displays total mastery of the bass, something he refined while working with noted jazz guitarist Henry Johnson and the legendary South African singing group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. A Chicago native, Russell has worked as a musician for more than 25 years.The bassist has performed at many jazz festivals across the country including the Newport Jazz Festival, the Telluride Jazz Festival and the Chicago Jazz Festival. Russell is also a close associate of keyboardist and musical director for Miles Davis in the 80s, Robert Irving III, who contributes to a number of the tracks. The Miles mood is further cemented by the presence of Davis emissary, trumpeter Wallace Roney on two selections. Selections on the recording include "Code MD-2" which is from the pen of Robert Irving III; "Quick Pix" which features fellow Chicago bassists Darryl Jones and Richard Patterson, and the beautiful ballad “Desi in Sedona”.