Russ Kassoff



Quotes       Reviews and Press Releases


"You are the best." -Frank Sinatra, '87

"I am privileged to be on the receiving end of the joyful and soulful sounds that this man produces with his hands. . . ." Rita Moreno, '05.

"Pianist Russ Kassoff . . . precision and enthusiasm that is riveting." Stephen Holden, The New York Times, 5/21/04.

"Russ Kassoff's playing is sensational. I grew up hearing Art Tatum’s harmonics, and Russ's harmonics are at the highest level . . . with beautiful melodic solos, and over the years a deepening sense of swing. Believe me; I know when I'm hearing something exceptional." Judd Woldin, Tony Award winning composer of Raisin.


"Monica Mancini is helped immeasurably by the musicianship of the four-piece band behind her that could not be improved upon; in particular, pianist Russ Kassoff truly makes the keyboard sing." Barbara and Scott Siegel

"[Vic] Damone settled into Vernon Duke's 'April in Paris'.... It was a fresh new approach to a postcard picture glance at Paree, and Russ Kassoff flourished his piano solo with a crisp and bold attack." -Robert Daniels, Variety 5/27/00"

"Russ has been in great demand to support singers of widely disparate styles. Comping is a rare talent, not well understood outside jazz circles, and its most accomplished exponents, such as Tommy Flanagan, who was Ella Fitzgerald's piano player for years, do not get a lot of notice generally. It is more than just accompanying a singer or instrumentalist; it is an integral part of a musical partnership that so enhances the soloist's performance that the result is truly greater than the sum of its parts." John Cleveland, Producer, Sackets Harbor Jazz Festival

"...Backed by a first-rate orchestra under the baton of Russell Kassoff, Minnelli sang songs from the best in the business... [in a] tribute to her father, the late film and stage director Vincente Minnelli."  The Sacramento Bee 3/11/00

"Trudy Richards (critically acclaimed singer with the legendary Charlie Barnett Band) has an ideal voice for jazz. Backed by a fantastic band comprised of musical director Russ Kassoff on piano, Don DeMarco on guitar, and Linc Milliman on bass, the evening turns out to be something special." Laurie Lawson, Punch In International (

"You'd be hard pressed to find a jazz singer in any New York City venue with a more seductively beautiful voice than Martha Lorin's. Lorin plays a little fast and loose with the lyrics - but oh, the towering talent! This is a tour de force of style, arranged by Lorin's musical director, Russ Kassoff. The show also features the ever-popular bassist, Jay Leonhart."  Barbara & Scott Siegel, Living It Up 10/17/03

[Re: The LP “I Love Being Here With You”] "At the age of 55, Chris Connor's style had become rather conservative, and her voice was starting to age a bit, but she still sounds fine on this little-known set.  With tasteful backup by pianist Russ Kassoff, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, bassist Dick Sarpola and drummer Tony Tedesco, Connor revisits "The Thrill Is Gone," "Like Someone in Love" and "Come Rain or Come Shine." She also sings some tunes that were added to her repertoire in later years, including “Baia” and Richard Rodney Bennett's "Anyone Home."  Jazz vocalist and cabaret collectors may want to search for this set."  Scott Yanow, All Music Guide



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