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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

Bebop - Released June 24, 1994 | Warner Jazz

Trumpeter Wallace Roney avoids the standard repertoire altogether on this CD, playing pieces by Pat Metheny, the Beatles, Egberto Gismonti, Jaco Pastorius and even Dolly Parton among others but, try as hard as he may, he still sounds like Miles Davis every time he hits a long tone or plays a doubletime passage. Backed by a small orchestra that mostly interprets Gil Goldstein arrangements, Roney is the main soloist throughout this interesting ballad-dominated set. ~ Scott Yanow

Jazz - Released September 23, 1997 | Savoy


Jazz - Released December 18, 2015 | Concord Records

Wallace Roney's No Room for Argument is about "heritage, mentors, wisdom, responsibility, and spirituality." This CD is packed with excellent straight-ahead, avant-garde, and free jazz that also features samples from speeches given by Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and audio by Deepak Chopra. Roney's evolved, imaginative use of his muted trumpet to achieve the meditative and philosophical concepts inherent in the opener "No Room for Argument" is accomplished effectively. Roney weaves its sound into the well-known orations delivered by King and Malcolm X, giving each note a new design that offers his solution to the challenges of performing respected works in a new medium. His mentor piece, an arrangement and direction of "Homage & Acknowledgement," a vital rework featuring the duality of the great Buster Williams at work on the bassline for John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," and Roney's interpretation of the trumpet sounds of Miles Davis on "Filles de Kilimanjaro" is a exceptional seven-minute masterwork that supplies both the spiritual depth and insistent ground rhythms inherent in the original recordings of the '60s. "Virtual Chocolate Cherry" is a boundless arena for the world-class drummer Lenny White. He makes a very strong impression and his very presence on this CD serves to further the respect Roney has for the lasting mark on his playing on this CD -- the open sound of the '60s that Lenny White helped Miles Davis to initiate. He gives his Gretsch a workout tempered by excellent solos from Geri Allen and Adam Holzman. This CD is a great one and shows Roney as a leading jazz trumpeter. ~ Paula Edelstein

Jazz - Released August 3, 1999 | Savoy


Wallace Roney in the magazine