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Jazz - 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 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
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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
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Bebop - Released April 20, 2010 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released July 27, 2007 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released October 12, 2004 | HighNote Records

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

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Bebop - Released March 6, 2012 | HighNote Records

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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
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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
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Jazz - Released August 3, 1999 | Savoy

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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

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Wallace Roney in the magazine