John Jacob Malone

b. August 20th, 1935 in Pete's Corner (Alabama)

d. February 20th, 2004 in Hawaï (Hawaï)

ALL NIGHT LONG THEY PLAY THE BLUES

Specialty

MORE WEST COAST WINNERS

Moonshine

1971

Il apprend d'abord l'harmonica pendant son enfance, puis la guitare vers 1955-56. Par la suite, il se tourne finalement vers le piano. Originaire de l'Alabama, J.J. s'installe en Californie (il habite à Oakland dès 1986). Grâce au producteur Ray Shanklin, il peut graver ses premiers titres sur le label Galaxy au début des années 70 : "It's a shame", "Danger zone", "I'm so glad" et "Whatever it is". Malheureusement, sur ces deux recueils, on ne trouve que l'excellent "Danger zone". Devant ses talents de compositeur-arrangeur, Shanklin lui confie de plus hautes responsabilités au sein du label Galaxy-Fantasy. Ainsi, J.J. s'occupe des carrières de "Little" Johnny Taylor, "Big Mama" Thornton et même de Creedence Clearwater Revival. En 1976, il apparait dans le disque "I don't want my blues colored bright" de son ami Sonny Rhodes.

He learned first the harmonica during his childhood, then the guitar in 1955-56. Eventually, he turned to the piano. Originally from Alabama, J.J. moved to California (he lived in Oakland since 1986). Thanks to the producer Ray Shanklin, he can cut his first titles on the Galaxy label in the early 70's : "It's a shame", "Danger zone", "I'm so glad" and "Whatever it is". Unfortunately, on these two collections, we can only find the excellent "Danger zone". In front of his talents as composer-arranger, Shanklin entrusts him with higher responsibilities within the label Galaxy-Fantasy. Thus, J.J. takes care of the careers of "Little" Johnny Taylor, "Big Mama" Thornton and even Creedence Clearwater Revival. In 1976, he appears in the album "I don't want my blues colored bright" by his friend Sonny Rhodes.

I'VE GOTTA A NEW CAR

Red Lightnin'

1978

Avec son ami guitariste Troyce Key (ils se connaissent depuis 1962), il achète et dirige le Eli Mile High Club à Oakland. Celui-ci deviendra d'ailleurs un des clubs les plus prisés du circuit West Coast dans les années 70. Leur collaboration ne s'arrête pas là puisqu'ils produisent et enregistrent ce superbe premier album ensemble. Il s'agit d'une remarquable réussite : voix magnifique et piano atmosphérique de J.J. Malone, guitare cinglante de Troyce Key et quelques beaux souffleurs comme Paul Green, Charles "C.A." Carr, Willie Wait, Bob Klien, Mike Marcus. La plupart des morceaux sont tout bonnement irrésistibles : "New car", "Katy May", "You're good lookin' woman", "Old fashioned blues" et le formidable "I know you love me".

With his friend guitarist Troyce Key (they have known each other since 1962), he buys and runs the Eli Mile High Club in Oakland. This one will become one of the clubs the most sought-after in West Coast 70's circuit. Their collaboration does not end there as they produce and record this great first album together. It is a remarkable achievement : magnificent voice and atmospheric piano by J.J. Malone, Troyce Key's stinging guitar and some beautiful blowers like Paul Green, Charles "C.A." Carr, Willie Wait, Bob Klien, Mike Marcus. Most of the songs are simply compelling : "New car", "Katy May", "You're good lookin' woman", "Old fashioned blues" and the awesome "I know you love me".

THE ENEMY CALLED HATE

Cherrie

February - April 1981

Produit par Cleveland White (alias Schoolboy Cleve) sur son label Cherrie. On trouve encore ici un formidable cocktail West Coast avec quelques morceaux remarquables : "Nothing to suggest", "Memory blues", "She's mellow", "Pain in the gas", "Sweet thing". Malheureusement, ce microsillon reste aujourd'hui difficile à trouver (non réédité en CD).

Produced by Cleveland White (aka Schoolboy Cleve) on his Cherrie label. There is also a great West Coast cocktail with some remarkable tracks : "Nothing to suggest", "Memory blues", "She's mellow", "Pain in the gas", "Sweet thing". Unfortunately, this record is still difficult to find (not reissued on CD).

YOUNGER THAN YESTERDAY

Red Lightnin'

December 1981

Second album pour Red Lightnin' pour le tandem J.J. Malone / Troyce Key. Comme "I've gotta new car", il s'agit d'un album majeur. Un son West Coast excitant, authentique et parfaitement inspiré comme en témoignent ces pépites : "Flip flop fly", "Annie maybe", "Louisiana blues", "Crazy little chicken", "Sail on", "Outskirts of town" sans oublier les étourdissants instrumentaux "Saturday night shakedown" et "Jaywalk". Il faut signaler l'excellent Paul Green impérial à l'harmonica tout au long de l'album. J.J. Malone et Troyce Key apparaissent ensemble plusieurs fois au San Francisco Blues Festival au début des années 80. Tournée en Europe durant l'été 1982 avec Troyce Key.

Second album for Red Lightnin' for the J.J. Malone / Troyce Key tandem. Like "I've gotta new car", this is a major album. An exciting West Coast sound, authentic and perfectly inspired as evidenced by these gems : "Flip flop fly", "Annie maybe", "Louisiana blues", "Crazy little chicken", "Sail on", "Outskirts of town" and the outstanding instrumentals "Saturday night shakedown" and "Jaywalk". It is worth mentioning the excellent Paul Green imperial on harmonica throughout the album. J.J. Malone and Troyce Key appeared together several times at the San Francisco Blues Festival in the early 1980's. European tour in the summer of 1982 with Troyce Key.

SAN FRANCISCO BLUES FESTIVAL IN EUROPE AGAIN

Paris Album

June 1982

FIRE AND SMOKE

Cherrie

1986

BLACK JACK II

Cherrie

Late 1980's ?

BOTTOM LINE BLUES

Eli Migh High

January 1989

HIGHWAY 99

Fedora

June 1997

Alors qu'il demeurait dans l'ombre depuis une quinzaine d'années, il est, néanmoins, resté actif avec quelques albums confidentiels. Entre 1967 et sa retraite en 1988, J.J. Malone - en plus de son activité de musicien - travaillait à la Alameda Naval Air Station. Toujours aussi à l'aise après cette absence relative, il livre ici son premier album pour le label Fedora de Chris Millar. Alors qu'il s'était presque exclusivement consacré au piano, il joue ici uniquement de la guitare (en alternance avec Clarence Walker), les claviers étant tenus par Jeff Levine. Ce "Highway 99" s'impose vraiment comme un excellent album de retour : "Daddy rolling stone", "Biscuit bakin' woman", "Sail on", "They call it the craw", "Mary Anne".

While he had remained in the shade for about fifteen years, he was, nevertheless, active with some confidential albums. Between 1967 and his retirement in 1988, J.J. Malone - in addition to his activity as a musician - worked at the Alameda Naval Air Station. Always at ease after this relative absence, he released his first album for Chris Millar's Fedora label. While he was almost exclusively devoted to piano, he played here only guitar (alternating with Clarence Walker), the keyboards being played by Jeff Levine. This "Highway 99" is really an excellent come-back album : "Daddy rolling stone", "Biscuit bakin' woman", "Sail on", "They call it the craw", "Mary Anne".

SEE ME EARLY IN THE MORNING

Fedora

July - November 1998

Second album avec le batteur-producteur Chris Millar pour Fedora. J.J. assume piano et guitare et bien entendu le chant. Derrière lui, on trouve les excellents Clarence Walker (guitare), Jeff Henry (basse) et Chris Millar (batterie). Encore une fois, le résultat s'avère très consistant à l'image du précédent "Highway 99". Quelques très bons moments : "It's a shame", "Good lookin' woman", "Mother Earth", "Nothing to suggest", "Peace breakin' people".

Second album with drummer-producer Chris Millar for Fedora. J.J. assumes piano and guitar and of course singing. Behind him are the excellent Clarence Walker (guitar), Jeff Henry (bass) and Chris Millar (drums). Again, the result is very consistent like his previous "Highway 99". Some very good moments : "It's a shame", "Good lookin' woman", "Mother Earth", "Nothing to suggest", "Peace breakin' people".

AND THE BAND PLAYED ON

Blues Express

January 2001

Pour Blues Express - un label basé à San Francisco - J.J. Malone démontre qu'il est toujours un remarquable représentant du blues californien. Bien produit (par lui-même) et accompagné, il assure la guitare, l'harmonica et les claviers. On peut ressortir les morceaux "Blues is comin' down", "Norgan county jail", "Down that lonesome road", "Late in the evening" de ce sympathique disque.

For Blues Express - a label based in San Francisco - J.J. Malone shows that he is still a remarkable representative of the Californian blues. Well produced (by himself) and accompanied, he plays guitar, harmonica and keyboards. We can point out the tracks "Blues is comin' down", "Norgan county jail", "Down that lonesome road", "Late in the evening" of this nice record.

WIN SOME LOSE SOME

Cherrie

2001 ?