Wallace Roney earned the admiration and respect of his colleagues and his elders since age 16. He has been an integral part of the band with Tony Williams, Ornette Coleman, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Walter Davis Jr., Herbie Hancock, Jay McShann, David Murray, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Curtis Fuller, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Dizzy Gillespie to name a few.
He was one of the few musicians in his generation who learned and perfected his craft directly from alliances with Jazz Masters. But his most important and meaningful relationship was with Miles Davis. Wallace was mentored by Miles Davis after Miles heard him in 1983 at his birthday gala performance in Carnegie Hall. Their association peaked when Miles chose Wallace to share the stage at his historic performance in Montreux in 1991. In what must be one of the grandest musical gestures imaginable, Wayne Shorter, one of the most important composers in the history of Jazz music and arguably the greatest living composer in Jazz today, bestowed on to Wallace Roney the scores to two large scale, large ensemble pieces that Wayne conceived and composed for Miles when he was still in the band but were never recorded (or even performed) and told Wallace he was now the person who could best fully realize these works. These two major works, Legend (composed in 1967) and Universe (composed in 1968 and 69) are amazing in their scope and breadth (they are written for as many as 18 pieces, including english horn, bassoon, french horn, flutes and clarinet along with more traditional instrumentation) and show Wayne to already be a fully formed masterful composer and orchestrator of large scale works at this early date in his career. Wayne also included a third unrecorded composition, Twin Dragon which was written for Miles in 1981 at his request as he was looking for material to perform for his comeback. Wallace Roney, who has performed and recorded with Wayne and was Miles Davis’ only protégé, has become a pivotal artist on the scene in his own right. With his vast experience with these great artists, he is clearly the right choice to bring this important music to life.
Saturday, August 23, 3:00pm, FREE
Marcus Garvey Park, 18 Mt Morris Park W, New York, NY 10027