One of the premier modern jazz trumpeters, Wallace Roney's Home fuses postmodernism with a classic 60's Blue Note Records stylization and touts the best of many jazz worlds on this superfine 2012 release. Over the years, Roney has developed a stylistic realm of sound amid inferences to Miles Davis's bluesy intonations. The band, including Roney's talented brother and saxophonist Antoine, glide through original compositions and works by renowned jazz artists. The ensemble launches the festivities with a warmhearted and contrasting take on Wayne Shorter's "Utopia," brimming with the hornists' thematic expansions and blustery solos.
Here and throughout, the musicians use space as an enhancer. Wallace Roney maximizes his attack via articulate voicings, spiked with flickering breakouts and near effortless fluency. Power and eloquence attain equal footing as the artists often dig deep from within.
Guitar great John McLaughlin's "Pacific Express" is dappled with a touch of Miles Davis's "Bitches Brew" jazz fusion, sparked by Aruan Ortiz's electronic keys that counter's an air of mystery, modeled by the leader's deftly enacted muted lines and a loose, funk-rock vibe. And the band shifts gears on "Dawn," which is an up-tempo ballad layered by Doug Carn's organ phrasings, and the frontline's breezy notes atop a smoothly flowing Latin pulse as the band throttles the pitch and pursues an open-air forum. However, "Ghost" is a piece that aptly conveys ethereal attributes, due to the trumpeter's dark voicings that resonate with clairvoyant underpinnings.
Home is an album that offers respite from many of the post-bop products that seemingly flood the market these days, largely devised on knotty time signatures sans any tangible or memorable melody lines. Nonetheless, Wallace Roney's artistry radiates to the hilt with this impeccably arranged program that discloses additional rewards on subsequent listens.