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Bebop - Released August 30, 2019 | HighNote Records

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In the mid-1980s, Wallace Roney’s youthful virtuosic trumpet playing fascinated post-bop fans. So much so that he was recognised by a certain Miles Davis and even joined him on stage in Montreux in 1991. Three years after the master died, Davis’ faithful companions from his historic quintet - Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams - even suggested that Roney should play the trumpet on the album A Tribute to Miles (1994). Despite having such a hard act to follow, the Philadelphia native nevertheless managed to assert himself as a significant force on the jazz scene... One year after his 60th birthday and with more than twenty albums to his credit as a bandleader, Wallace Roney is still contributing to this impeccable blend of hard bop and post-bop. And with Blue Dawn - Blue Nights, this time he is the master. A master who surrounds himself with younger stars such as the pianist Oscar Williams II (31 years old), bassist Paul Cuffari (20 years old), saxophonist Emilio Modeste (19 years old) and his nephew, the drummer Kojo Odu Roney (only 15 years old!). The group is supported on some tracks by guitarist Quintin Zoto as well as Lenny White, the legendary drummer who played for Chick Corea’s band, Return to Forever, and for Miles Davis from the Bitches Brew period. And to further highlight his young accomplices, Wallace Roney has chosen not to sign any of the eight themes on his refined album. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Bebop - Released November 11, 2016 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released June 24, 1994 | Warner Jazz

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Bebop - Released July 27, 2007 | HighNote Records

There is no irony to be found in the title Wallace Roney chose for his 14th studio album. The title is a statement. This album is most assuredly jazz, despite the presence of turntablists (DJ Axum appears for the second straight album, joined by Val Jeanty), occasional tangents into electronic downtempo, and 21-year-old bassist Rashaan Carter's teaming with drummer Eric Allen to lay down some of the thickest grooves this side of hip-hop. The bass doesn't walk all that much (which isn't to say that Carter's debut is anything short of outstanding) and you won't find much swing-era swinging or obsessions with '60s bop. That's a good thing. Jazz is 21st century jazz by a weathered, seasoned, and credentialed 20-year vet. Unlike many contemporary musicians, Roney (the same trumpeter faultily plagued by Miles Davis-clone assassinations) is not stuck in the past. Instead, he makes music that is an ode to the past, music one wouldn't mistake as straight-ahead jazz, although it does stare and venture straight ahead. On "Stand," Roney's reprise of the Sly Stone classic, Jeanty scratches in the chant "break the rules." Jazz, however, sounds less like rebellion and more like invention. For the past three LPs -- Jazz, Prototype (2004), and Mystikal (2005) -- Roney and his trusted companions (pianist and wife Geri Allen, saxophonist and brother Antoine Roney) have collaborated to produce music the opposite of static. There is nothing static about tunes like Carter's urban and brooding "Fela's Shrine" that begins with a world vibe and morphs into street-corner jazz and Roney's "Revolution: Resolution," which travels through esoteric (in jazz terms) techno to the song's bellicose theme. These are jazz songs that couldn't have been created until now, contemporary in a fundamental (but not commercial) way. The older, purist crowd may either scoff or trivialize this album, which is actually expected. Jazz points to the new direction of jazz, and not everyone has to or will follow. © Vincent Thomas /TiVo
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Bebop - Released April 23, 2013 | HighNote Records

Wallace Roney's sixth studio album for High Note, 2013's Understanding, is an expansive, often swinging work that finds the trumpeter digging even deeper into the straight-ahead if no less adventurous sound of his recent releases. These are bluesy, harmonically layered modal songs that bring to mind such touchstones as '70s Woody Shaw and late-'60s Miles Davis. Joining Roney here are saxophonists Arnold Lee and Ben Solomon, pianist Victor Gould, bassist Daryl Johns, and drummer Kush Abadey. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Bebop - Released August 8, 1997 | Warner Jazz

This is really two albums in one, with a clear line of demarcation between two concepts. Roney says that he wanted to "incorporate African rhythms with a Nefertiti approach" on the whole CD, but Nefertiti easily overwhelms, even obliterates, the African element up until track six ("Village"), where Steve Berrios' percussion and Robert Irving III's synthesizers kick in. Now the music becomes more interesting, sometimes following the direction of Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi Sextet -- and the last four tracks are appropriately linked to one another by Berrios' interludes. The best track, "EBO," has a great theme, an amalgam of Kind of Blue, Filles de Kilimanjaro and Gil Evans, with Chick Corea's Fender Rhodes electric piano complementing Geri Allen's acoustic piano. You guessed it; by now, the boo birds have been out again accusing Roney of being a Miles imitator. But the means are justified here, because Roney creates thoughtful music within his post-Miles idiom and, like his late idol, tries to stretch himself. Besides, there was a good reason for revisiting the past this time; the death of Roney's former employer and bandmate Tony Williams in 1997 made this album, though recorded over three months earlier, a memorial -- unnervingly so in the way Roney and drummer Lenny White follow the Williams rhythmic method in Cole Porter's "I Love You." Also, Pharaoh Sanders puts in a pair of (for him) rather safe cameo appearances. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Bebop - Released October 12, 2004 | HighNote Records

"[T]he arrangements are melody-driven, neat and to the point." © TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 23, 1997 | Savoy

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Bebop - Released April 20, 2010 | HighNote Records

At first glance of the cover art and title, you would be led to believe this is trumpeter Wallace Roney's romantic, late-night ballad album. While there's an after-hours aspect, this in fact is his first live performance release, done at the Iridium Jazz Cafe in N.Y.C., reunited with brother/saxophonist Antoine Roney. Retro-fusion and funk à la latter period Miles Davis with hard-swinging jazz and some pop-type ballads comprise this meaty and beaty session full of energetic highs and introspective low-key music. On the upper end, the hardcore electro-funk of "Quadrant" is a workout right out of the box, while "Metropolis" is a swift-kicking hard bopper straight from the urgent mid-'60s. The Roneys cover the Tony Williams late-period neo-bop beauty "Only with You" that starts the group on an introspective roll, as does the evocative "I Have a Dream," and the last three tracks, including Janet Jackson's "Let's Wait Awhile," tone the set to a whisper. The closer "FMS/For My Son" is Wallace Roney's triumphant solo trumpet taking center stage as if he was born to play sans a rhythm section, perhaps food for thought on a future project. Aruan Ortiz is very noticeable in this quintet setting for his acoustic or electric keyboard, on either forceful or quiet dynamics. A diverse and enjoyable set, overdue for Roney in a club or concert setting, it shows he's a strong player with plenty of ideas in the tank based in tribute to his idol Davis. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released August 3, 1999 | Savoy

32 Jazz's No Job Too Big or Small contains 11 highlights (as chosen by producer Adam Dorn) from Wallace Roney's recordings for Muse in the late '80s and early '90s. Although these were made at the outset of his career, Roney was already at the top of his game, as evidenced by this highly enjoyable collection. While the original albums are certainly worth hearing themselves, this is an excellent introduction to the trumpeter's finest recordings. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Bebop - Released September 23, 2005 | HighNote Records

Upon first listen to trumpeter Wallace Roney's Mystikal one might be inclined to marginalize it as yet another attempt to re-create '70s-era Miles Davis. This would be a mistake. While Roney has always owed a large debt to the iconic jazz innovator -- he even played with Davis on a concert released as Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux -- Mystikal is a modern album made up of vintage parts. Which is to say that while Roney has deep affection for the sounds of '60s jazz and '70s funk and fusion, he is a resolutely forward-thinking musician who borrows from a variety of sources and time periods even when the overall sound is funky. Featuring his longtime working band including pianist Geri Allen, brother saxophonist Antoine Roney, keyboardist Adam Holzman, bassist Matt Garrison, drummer Eric Allen, percussionist Bobby Thomas, Jr., and turntablist Val Jeanty, Roney has largely crafted a sister album to 2004's similarly minded Prototype. Like that album, Mystikal is in many ways a standard jazz album with some original compositions, a cover of a standard, and a lesser known piece by a well-known artist. This time around that artist is Wayne Shorter, whose "Atlantis" kicks off the album. An expansive and creepily funky piece off Shorter's underrated 1985 album of the same name, Roney turns the song into a moody mix of Miles in the Sky-esque post-bop, '80s hip-hop, and new age atmospherics. Similarly engaging is his melancholy cover of the Temptations classic "Just My Imagination," which draws out the deeper, more sanguine harmonics of the song even while it perfectly embodies the innocent romance of the original. Interestingly, Roney makes room for some straight-ahead but no less adventurous stuff here covering trumpeter Kenny Dorham's jaunty "Poetic" as well as ending with pianist Bud Powell's gorgeous ballad "I'll Keep Loving You." Roney's own compositions do not disappoint either with the hard funk of "Stargaze" and the elegiac "Baby's Breath" displaying the trumpeter's deft creative vision. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Bebop - Released March 6, 2012 | HighNote Records

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Wallace Roney in the magazine