Wallace Roney at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club
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Near the end of Miles Davis' career, he gave young Wallace Roney the gift of a trumpet. That blue horn -- yes, silvery blue -- has engaged in a lot of serious music-making, first with Davis and now with Roney as a solo act.
Roney opens his sets saying, "We don't talk much." He then plays generously with a sweet, clear tone and great control, spinning phrases into moods. He gives you the melody, then rephrases from new directions and finally slices and dices with musical logic before he puts it back together again (or hands off to the next soloist). Clear-thinking at every speed, Wallace plays with a furrowed-brow seriousness that makes you keep your distance. When it's over, he flashes a wide smile that melts the distance away. Roney's latest CD is titled Jazz (High Note).
At the Kennedy Center, the band includes Val Jeanty on turntables, weaving shreds of music and voices from her great LP collection into the mix. She is deft, edging her samples into the cracks, adding new references and emotions.
Pianist Robert Irving III worked closely with Davis in the 1980s. The Chicagoan has his own 2007 album, New Momentum.
"Let's Stay Together" (Al Green, Al Jackson Jr., Willie Mitchell)
"Metropolis" (Wallace Roney)
"Christina" (Buster Williams)
"Poetic" (Kenny Dorham)
"Stand" (Sly Stone)
THE BACKING BAND
Wallace Roney, trumpet
Antoine Roney, soprano and tenor sax
Robert Irving III, piano
Rashaan Carter, bass
Eric Allen, drums
Val Jeanty, turntables
Wallace Roney's Site
Kennedy Center Jazz
Mix by Duke Markos with Greg Hartman, Mark Barrie and Marty Taylor from Big Mo Recording.
Producer Becca Pulliam, with thanks to Steve Brown.
Thanks also to Artistic Advisor Dr. Billy Taylor and Kennedy Center jazz staff Kevin Struthers and Jean Thill.
Dee Dee Bridgewater's recording engineer Antonio Oliart at WGBH in Boston.
Executive Producer Thurston Briscoe III.
Copyright 2007 NPR