Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Wallace Roney review - NYC Jazz Record

Trumpeter Wallace Roney offers an album of pulsating
solo work and diverse moods with help from his
younger saxophone-playing brother Antoine. Along
with bassist Rashaan Carter, four drummers and three
keyboardists round out the rhythm section, trading
spots over the course of eight tracks. Each has their
own feel with a Fender Rhodes and an organ setting
the mood amid straightahead piano sounds but the
transition between tracks is fairly smooth.

The album opens with Wayne Shorter’s “Utopia”.
Although never recorded by him, it has the
unmistakable horn harmonies of mid ‘60s Blue Note,
with the Roney brothers staying in tight formation
over the head before they both offer up twisting solos
over drummer Kush Abadey’s slinky cymbal. The band
plugs in for “Pacific Express” with Aruan Ortiz
sneaking through the rhythm section with a clavinetlike
keyboard sound. The album makes a stylistic leap
forward with “Plaza Real”, giving George Burton a
track over which to float his oscillating keyboards.
Antoine dominates the melody before Wallace steps in
with a rapid-fire solo on the 10-minute track, Antoine
following quickly behind. Drummer Darryl Green
provides much of the momentum.

Organist Doug Carn joins the band for “Dawn”,
implying a soul-jazz feel until the band gets going with
Wallace’s sputtering trumpet over Carn’s clustered
comping. “Evolution of the Blues” opens with a
triumphant Charlie Parker reference before Wallace
tears into the form with help from Abadey. Antoine
muscles up on tenor to deliver a breathless honk.
“Ghost of Yesterday” features Wallace in muted
retrospection. Veteran Boston drummer Bobby Ward’s
brushes flutter behind Ortiz’ spacious piano creating a
soft palette over which the brothers stretch out. The
album closes with a solo drum performance by Ward
whose snare trembles over three rollicking minutes.

Wallace Roney @ NYC Jazz Record

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