Wallace Roney


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On his seventh date as a leader, trumpeter Wallace Roney is clearly shaking the comparisons to Miles Davis, even while covering some of the same ground as the late jazz legend. Backed by his talented wife, Geri Allen (who is a gifted composer and adventurous bandleader herself), bassist Christian McBride, and first-call drummer Kenny Washington, Roney's fresh look at Davis' "Solar" is well worth investigating, while the spirited rendition of Charlie Parker's "Ah-Leu-Cha" features Washington driving the leader and guest tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, while adding some wild arco bass by McBride. The performance of Clifford Brown's timeless "Daahoud" is fairly straightforward by comparison, though it sizzles in any case. The most intriguing choice is the moody ballad "Smooch" (co-written by Davis and Charles Mingus), which is all but ignored by most players investigating Davis' vast recorded legacy. This is easily one of Wallace Roney's best CDs, though it has been out of print since the sale of Muse and it is getting difficult to acquire.

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