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Wallace Roney: In the Realm of Anti-Gravity

By Published: June 11, 2013
"At this point, there are lessons I can offer. You watch young musicians today, they don't even have a clue on how to do certain things. They might have certain kind of technique. But they don't have the kind that puts you in an innovator's space or puts you in a certain way. They don't know how to lock it together with a feeling that comes from Africa, or that's uniquely African-American. That comes from the blues, but then beyond the blues. Those kind of things that a conservatory can't teach you. That a conservatory is trying to catch up on, trying to learn."

As for jazz, he says individuality and diversity should be part of the expression in whatever direction an artist is trying to take.

"It's my hope that whatever deficiencies we all have, they strengthen up. Because we need everybody out here to play some vital music and put their own spin on it. Not just my spin. My spin is a good alternative to someone else's spin. And their spin is an alternative to my spin. It all makes for a healthy scene. I think the critics and people do a divide and conquer. They don't understand that alternatives are good. What somebody else is doing, if it's different from what your favorite is doing, is a good thing. We don't need everybody to sound the same way."

His band is an example. "We're playing from a concept that comes from Nefertiti and A Love Supreme, Tony Williams Lifetime, Mwandishi [Hancock's band of the 1980s], Charlie Parker quintet, Louis Armstrong's Hot Five. We're playing from that blueprint. We're trying to take it further."

Selected Discography

Wallace Roney, Understanding (HighNote, 2013)
Wallace Roney, Jazz (HighNote Records, 2007)
Wallace Roney, Mystikal (HighNote Records, 2005)
Wallace Roney, Prototype (HighNote Records, 2004)
Chick Corea, Remembering Bud Powell (Stretch, 1997)
Wallace Roney, Village (Warner Bros., 1996)
Wallace Roney, The Wallace Roney Quintet (Warner Brothers, 1995)
Geri Allen, Eyes in the Back of Your Head (Blue Note, 1995)
Randy Weston, Volcano Blues (Antilles, 1993)
Herbie Hancock, Dis is Da Drum (Mercury, 1993)
Dizzy Gillespie, To Diz With Love (Telarc, 1992)
Miles Davis/Quincy Jones, Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux (Warner Brothers, 1991)
Tony Williams, The Story of Neptune (Blue Note, 1991)
Wallace Roney, The Standard Bearer (Muse, 1989)
Wallace Roney, Verses (Muse, 1987)
Tony Williams, Civilization (Blue Note, 1986)
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Feeling Good (Delos, 1986)
Kenny Barron, What If? (Enja, 1986)
Tony Williams, Foreign Intrigue (Blue Note, 1985)

Photo Credit
Page 1: Andrea Canter
Page 2: Eric Waters
Page 6: Joze Pozrl
Page 7: Goio Villanueva

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