Wallace Roney Essentials

Wallace Roney Essentials

A protégé of Miles Davis, with a style as cutting as it was warm and lyrical, Wallace Roney was one of the great personalities of modern jazz trumpet. He rose from the ranks of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and the Tony Williams Quintet to become a versatile bandleader with his finger on the pulse of a wide range of contemporary music. On 1997’s Village, he enlisted Davis alums Chick Corea, Lenny White and others in a tour de force reworking of Joe Henderson’s iconic “Inner Urge”. He led off 2016’s A Place in Time with the fierce “Around and Through”, generating sparks alongside alto great Gary Bartz (a Davis collaborator as well). “Wolfbane”, a Lenny White composition from 2019’s Blue Dawn - Blue Nights, found Roney grooving hard in the company of younger talents he nurtured so assiduously, including saxophonist Emilio Modeste and pianist Oscar Williams II. Following the trumpeter’s death at 59 from COVID-19 complications (on 31 March 2020), tributes poured in from Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and other jazz giants hailing Roney’s virtuosity and musical vision. “A major part of Wallace’s recent endeavor was to reach for the so-called ‘unreachable’,” Shorter said. “I am convinced he will discover that his ‘reach’ will go far beyond his grasp, as a human entity with a noble mission.”

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