Wayne Shorter is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest composers in the history of jazz, which is the history of American music. His compositions are played by instrumentalists in cramped and crowded nightclubs wherever on earth jazz music is performed. It's hard to imagine a jazz festival where at least few of his works don't cascade upon the ears at some point. Vocalists have added lyrics to some of his songs so they, too, can get involved in their interpretation. He's an absolute jazz master, one of the greatest composers in jazz and, in my opinion, in ...read more
Much is made of trumpeter Wallace Roney coming from the Miles Davis school, a mentor-protégé situation that blossomed in the 1980s that Roney is very proud of. But that wouldn't be telling the whole story of the Philadelphia native who, in his prime years, has become one of the world's finest trumpet players, and a musician whose quest for innovation is everlasting.Hearing jazz music around the house as a small child, it crept into his head and stayed there. People couldn't understand a young kid really loving the music that way because everybody else was liking ...read more
Wallace Roney's six-year association with HighNote--beginning with Prototype (2004), followed by Mystikal (2005), and culminating with Jazz (2007)--has allowed the trumpeter to amass a body of work far more indicative of where he's always wanted to be than his largely mainstream run with Muse in the early 1990s. If Only for One Night--culled from a four-night run at New York's Iridium--continues to paint a broader picture of an artist for whom the lifelong arc of Miles Davis remains an influence, but one distanced from mere mimicry through greater technical facility and an all-encompassing approach to collating a broad set of ...read more
Even as Jazz is a tribute to Roney's mentors Art Blakey, Miles Davis and Tony Williams, it is much more. The musical flavors here cover a spectrum of jazz feeling, everything from bop to fusion to funk and other local stops. Vater Time," the set's jump-right-in opener, is a Roney tune that moves from a funky intro to a swinging trumpet solo with Miles alum Robert Irving III lending muscular piano support; Roney's brother Antoine on tenor sax stokes matters further. A pair of Antoine tunes, Children of Light and Nia," share a predisposition for rather otherworldly ...read more
In a time when the definition of the word jazz is in heated debate, it takes a certain amount of courage for trumpeter Wallace Roney to use it as the title of his third release for HighNote. Roney continues to mine the place where contemporary rhythms and technology meet the language of jazz, and while there are those who will balk at his use of turntablists, synthesizers and hip hop rhythms, one listen is all it takes. It may be increasingly difficult to empirically define jazz, but one knows it when one hears it, and Jazz is most definitely a ...read more
It's hard to imagine Wallace Roney making anything other than a bold statement with the trumpet. The Philadelphia native's razor sharp tone and vigorous pin-point precision has been on the cutting edge of modern jazz since his early days with Tony Williams and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. On Jazz, Roney, along with his wife Geri Allen (keyboards) and younger brother Antoine (reeds), delves into a sonic landscape laden with modern funk grooves, simplified melodies and chops-heavy soloing.
The first two tracks, Vater Time and Children of the Light, are embedded with Roney's unremitting chromaticism, creating a rumble of unresolved tension. ...read more
Trumpeter Wallace Roney has been working in jazz for over thirty years. He made his recording debut at age fourteen and played in the bands of Tony Williams, Art Blakey, David Murray and Herbie Hancock--just to name a few. A bandleader on his own for many years, Roney has dazzling chops and has composed some classic songs. He's never led a bad group, and when I saw him at Chicago's Green Mill in late August, the band was dazzling--powerful but supple, densely layered but capable of immediate transition.
Roney's most famous mentor was, of course, Miles Davis. It can't be ...read more