Wallace Roney Quintet: The History of Jazz in Thirty Minutes or Less or Your Money Back
Were Stanley Crouch and Wynton Marsalis right? Was mimicry for the sake of purity and aesthetics a worthwhile endeavor? The answer, or rather the value judgment, would argue no. Wallace Roney’s improvizations, his musings, his emotions, all creeping out the end of that trumpet utilize a particular tone and approach for his own expressive purposes. To create such personal music is not something that can be mined from old recordings and performances. To fault him for such an endeavor would be similar to chastising Roy Eldridge for sounding too similar to Louis Armstrong. Wallace Roney has integrated the lessons taught by Miles Davis, and he pays significant homage too them with his quintet, while also nodding his proverbial hat to the free jazz and avate-guarde movements at the same time. He is using and fully integrating the lessons of all that modern jazz has taught us in the last fifty years, and creating an exciting hybrid. We should be both thankful and anticipatory.