With his second CD for Warner Bros., Wallace Roney began to break free of the frequent claim that he was overly imitating Miles Davis. With an exciting quintet including brother Antoine Roney on trumpet, pianist Carlos McKinney, bassist Clarence Seay, and drummer Eric Allen, the trumpeter encouraged his band to contribute pieces for this recording; the sideman are responsible for six of the ten pieces, and the performances indicate this is a true band and not just a showboat leader with a supporting cast. Antoine's tense, post-bop cooker "Spyra" is an excellent opener, with provocative solos and terrific ensemble work, while Seay's dark "High Stakes" is an eerie bossa nova with an explosive solo by the leader. The opening to "Night and Day" (the sole standard) is quite unusual, sounding as if Roney is walking toward the microphone as he begins his unaccompanied introduction, before settling in with the full quintet in a tantalizing off-center arrangement. The trumpeter wrote the last two pieces, including the mysterious ballad "Geri" (dedicated to his wife, pianist Geri Allen), a piece full of surprising twists, along with the infectious uptempo riff blues "Northern Lights."
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden