Monday, November 21, 2016

Wallace Roney - A Place in Time (HIGHNOTE RECORDS 2016)

Wallace Roney's music is a tough, taut and intransigent continuation of the arcane forms and structured freedoms of Miles Davis' 1960s quintet. Listeners often associate Roney with Davis, thanks to Roney's work with the jazz legend early in Roney's career. 

But at this point, Davis' impact on Roney can be considered mostly historic, with Roney's playing larger in scope, firmer in tone and sharper in attack than Davis.' Today, Wallace's set lists feature easy-on-the-ear themes that mask harmonic complexities, while solos are fueled by strong moods and sustained rhythmic drive informed by the spectre of Davis but far from imitating him. Whether he performs up-tempo original compositions or mainstream ballads, Roney is always compelling in his idiosyncratic ways.

His tendency to produce smeared tones, bent pitches and jabbing rhythmic figures in the stratospheric range of the instrument distinguishes his playing, as does the volatile spirit and ever-changing direction of his phrases. With the Grammy-winning composer/pianist Patrice Rushen on hand with guest reedman Gary Bartz and Wallace's sidemen of choice, Ben Solomon, tenor sax, Buster Williams, bass and Lenny White, drums, the musicians deliver a blisteringly accomplished and creative session.

Patrice Rushen, piano
Gary Bartz, alto sax
Ben Solomon, tenor & soprano sax
Buster Williams, bass
Lenny White, drums

01 Around and Through
02 Elegy
03 Air Dancing
04 Observance
05 Ardéche
06 L's Bop
07 0Clair de lune
08 My Ship