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. The spirit of Miles Davis, Roney's main mentor, is ever- present, especially on the ferocious, backbeat driven "Revolution: Resolution and the pensive waltz "Her Story. A conscious homage to electric-era Miles can be heard on Sly Stone's "Stand. Roney's dissonant arrangement of the funk classic features both Allen and Davis alum Robert Irving III on keyboards, complemented by Val Jeanty's turntable scratching and sampling.
Bassist Rashaan Carter and drummer Eric Allen both adhere to the groove-oriented nature of the disc while maintaining a progressive edginess, challenging any notion of overt simplicity. A fascinating example of drum and bass interplay is found on "Fela's Shrine, where Allen's drum barrage perpetuates Carter's ethereal, low- end thumping.
Jazz is full of provocation. Roney and company aren't necessarily presenting an ideal of where jazz is today, but rather a lush representation of the genre's possibilities. This music is challenging, vivacious and, above all, soulful.
Track Listing: Vater Time; Children of the Light; Inflorescent; Fela
Personnel: Wallace Roney: trumpet; Antoine Roney: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Geri Allen: piano, keyboards (2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9); Robert Irving III: keyboards, Fender Rhodes (1, 4, 6, 8); Rashaan Carter: bass; Eric Allen: drums; DJ Axum: turntables (1, 4); Val Jeanty: turntables (5, 6, 8).
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.