The Mastersounds - Play Horace Silver

The Mastersounds Play Compositions By Horace Silver (World Pacific 1960)

There has been a great number of Horace Silver tribute albums over the decades. But few if any come as crisp as one of the earliest efforts by The Mastersounds from 1960, Play Compositions By Horace Silver.

The Mastersounds - Play Horace Silver

Personnel

Buddy Montgomery (vibraphone), Richard Crabtree (piano), Buddy Montgomery (electric bass), Benny Barth (drums)

Recorded

in 1960 in Los Angeles

Released

as WP 1284 in 1960

Track listing

Side A:
Ecaroh
Enchantment
Nica’s Dream
Side B:
Doodlin’
Moonrays
Buhaina


The Mastersounds, consisting of two Montgomery brothers – Buddy on vibraphone, Monk on electric bass – pianist Richard Crabtree and drummer Benny Barth, recorded a string of albums on World Pacific during their all-too brief existence from 1957 till 1961. One of those, Kismet, featured their brother, the gifted, groundbreaking guitarist Wes Montgomery. The concept of the West Coast-based Mastersounds was built around the earthy, fluid vibes playing of Buddy Montgomery and was a notable playground for the pioneering electric bass style of Monk Montgomery. Monk started using the Fender bass as early as 1952 in the Lionel Hampton band and was the first to play electric bass on a jazz recording on the Art Farmer Septet recordings in July, 1953. It is generally agreed that he in effect was the first to record electric bass in any genre.

Arguably the highlight of their career, Play Compositions By Horace Silver is marked by relentless, tight-knit group swing and Buddy’s sprightly, soul-drenched vibraphone excursions. Not to mention Monk’s successful attempts of adding groove and walkin’ bass magic with the electric bass. The Mastersounds play as a bunch of young and hungry lions. Very similar to the other great West Coast soul jazz and hard bop group, The Jazz Crusaders. (Buddy and Monk were associated with some of the members of this group at regular times during their careers)

Crabtree’s finest hour occurs during Doodlin’, his probing, fleet lines gracing the group’s lively take on Silver’s down-home classic. Monk Montgomery takes an expert solo, quoting Franky And Johnny in the process. The Mastersounds’ versions of Ecaroh and Nica’s Dream are quicksilver gems. Enchantment and Moonrays are interesting choices of the Silver repertory. Enchantment leans a bit towards long-windedness. Moonrays is a gush of fresh air. Like Silver’s music, its fluid bounce effortlessly arouses a singularly jubilant feeling in the listener.

The Mal Waldron Trio - Impressions

Mal Waldron Impressions (New Jazz 1959)

Mal Waldron is like a calf breaking loose in springtime. Jumping the fence!

The Mal Waldron Trio - Impressions

Personnel

Mal Waldron (piano), Addison Farmer (bass), Albert Heath (drums)

Recorded

on March 20, 1959 at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey

Released

as NJ-8242 in 1959

Track listing

Side A:
Les Champs-Elyseés
C’est Formidable
Ciao
Side B:
You Stepped Out Of A Dream
All The Way
All About Us
With A Song In My Heart


You can count on Mal. In 1956/57, Mal Waldron was the house pianist of Prestige Records, partaking in a string of sessions with John Coltrane, Gene Ammons, Kenny Burrell, Jackie McLean and The Prestige All-Stars. The New York City-born Waldron (1925) also was responsible for a steady supply of tunes. There seemed no end to the slight inventions on blues-based material and the chords sequences of the American Songbook by Waldron, who gave the world song titles as Anatomy and Vodka. Waldron’s best-known composition is Soul Eyes, written for Coltrane in 1957 and an instant standard. Waldron furthermore accompanied Billie Holiday during the last phase of her life.

He also worked with Eric Dolphy, which is documented on 1961’s At The Five Spot Vol. 1 & 2 and Memorial Album. A remarkable cooperation, climaxing with Waldron’s The Quest, also from 1961, bull’s eye, rocket ship whirling around Jupiter, knockout punch, crackerjack classic must-hear. So already, while working in the mainstream, Waldron’s adventurous urge had become evident. He delved avant-garde territory for the biggest part of his career. I have to confess that I’m not really familiar with Waldron’s subsequent career, excepting the odd records, which were unable to hold my attention. There will be readers of the opposite persuasion, avant-garde fans that find early Mal Waldron less charming and important, and that’s fine. Throughout, Waldron maintained a special rapport with soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, beginning in 1958 with Lacy’s New Jazz album Reflections, an outstanding program of music by Thelonious Monk.

I did see Mal Waldron perform at the latter stage of his life at Bimhuis, Amsterdam, in cooperation with Lacy, trombonist Roswell Rudd and bassist Reggie Workman. (I have forgotten who held the drum chair) Waldron played an intriguing minimal style at that point of his career. Some guy in the audience, most likely inebriated, apparently was not enamored by Waldron’s minimalism and shouted: “Wake up, Mal!” Bad. Very bad and insulting. I threw my beer into his neck. It was quite an ugly scene.

That was 1999. And partying like it was 1999. Back to March 20, 1959, the last few months in the home studio of Rudy van Gelder at Hackensack, New Jersey. Waldron working out in a trio setting with bassist Addison Farmer – brother of Art Farmer – and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath. Waldron’s swing is quirky, his style angular and uncompromising. I never met anyone who cited Waldron as his favorite pianist. Perhaps understandably, Waldron is quite a willful fellow, opening the slide doors of the saloon, cigar in corner of mouth, hat tilted dangerously to the left, brooding… Creeping under your skin. But delivering the goods and definitely good at heart. Mal Waldron is a tattoo’d health care worker.

Waldron turns Hackensack into Paris – Les Champs-Elyseés, a frivolous melody seguing into bursts of notes that alternate between stubborn repetition and speeded-up percussive dives into Monk-land. Perhaps Waldron visits Brussels as well, where Waldron migrated to in the late 60s – C’est Formidable, a lovely waltz. He takes a weekend trip to Italy – Ciao – and eventually travels back to the USA with You Stepped Out Of A Dream, All The Way, With A Song In My Heart and All About Us, an original composition with a lovely loping tempo by Waldron’s wife, Elaine. Waldron’s extremely slow, darkly romantic take of You Stepped Out Of A Dream is juxtaposed with the fast and loud version of All The Way, with its booming and ringing chords, phrases hammered like bolts in a concrete wall.

Ciao is even more relentless, a Ferrari driving at top speed. Waldron’s preoccupation with repetitive motives is maddening, confusing but strangely satisfying, held in suspension by his constant variation of touch, his clipped left hand chords and underlying bass lines, going on and on, for about 5 minutes. It’s an attack and Rome most definitely is conquered. If anything, it might be defined as rock & roll jazz.

Mal Waldron died in 2002.

Miles Davis - Milestones

Miles Davis Milestones (Columbia 1958)

Milestones still stands tall as a marvel of balance and power.

Miles Davis - Milestones

Personnel

Miles Davis (trumpet, piano A2), John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Julian “Cannonball” Adderley (alto saxophone), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums)

Recorded

on February 4 & March 4, 1958 at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City

Released

as CL 1193 in 1958

Track listing

Side A:
Dr. Jekyll
Sid’s Ahead
Two Bass Hit
Side B:
Milestones
Billy Boy
Straight, No Chaser


There isn’t much more to ask for in mainstream jazz land than a listen to the First Great Miles Davis Quintet, augmented as a sextet with the inclusion of Cannonball Adderley on Milestones. The band, featuring John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones, had been together for two years and its discography consisted of the series of Workin’, Relaxin’, Steamin’ and Cookin’ on Prestige and ‘Round About Midnight on Columbia, all classics in the hard bop canon. Milestones prefigures the most popular album of all-time, the modal masterpiece Kind Of Blue. The title track – titled Miles on the first pressings to avoid confusion with Davis’ earlier and different composition of Milestones – is the first attempt of Miles Davis at modal jazz.

The harmonic idea of using scales instead of chords is not a Miles Davis innovation – he codified and popularized it. And typically, he was involved in its inception. Pianist and composer George Russell, who wrote The Lydian Chromatic Concept Of Tonal Organization as the backbone of the innovation and co-wrote the modal-tinged Cubana Be/Cubana Bop for Dizzy Gillespie in 1947, once said that the 18-year old Miles Davis inspired him to develop the theory with a remark in 1944: “Miles said that he wanted to learn all the changes and I reasoned that he might try to find the closest scale for every chord.”

The seeds were sown and eventually developed into a big tree with the release of the modal masterpiece Kind Of Blue. However, it was preceded by the Milestones composition. And it’s the standout tune of the album. Based on two scales, the first relatively simple melody is stated fluently, while the second melody is more staccato. While offering a fresh wave of space for the soloists that was heretofore nonexistent in the chord-driven era, there also exists proper tension between the scales, keeping Cannonball, Davis and Coltrane on their toes. Plainly wonderful. Cannonball Adderley is first in line, which shows you that Miles Davis had the utmost respect for the blues-drenched, Charlie Parker-influenced alto saxophonist from Florida. Five days after Milestones, Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley recorded the perennial favorite Somethin’ Else on Blue Note. It was a Miles Davis session but the Dark Prince offered leadership credits to Adderley. Adderley would, of course, be an important constituent of Kind Of Blue.

The three concise statements of Adderley, Davis and Coltrane during Milestones are marvels of economy and smooth propulsion. The way Davis uses space is especially brilliant and undoubtedly influenced the tales of his companions. His subtle and dark-blue, slight bending of notes is the finishing touch, always delivered at the exact right moment in time. Davis perfected his kind of blue-isms with the Harmony mute, but sticks to the open horn on the Milestones album – one of the reasons yours truly is particularly enamored by it. Davis continues his economy of phrasing throughout the session, quoting When The Saints Go Marching In in both Dr. Jekyll and Sid’s Ahead. Couple of saints at work right there in the studio of Columbia at 30th Street, Gotham City.

Jackie McLean’s bop tune Dr. Jekyll (Dr. Jackle on the original pressings) is distinctive for Philly Joe Jones and Paul Chambers’ snappy backing of the soloists. Generally accepted as a powerful battle between Coltrane and Adderley, I for one am not particularly fond of the frenzied trading of eights and fours between them. The raucous tombola of notes from Coltrane as the sole protagonist during the outstanding, tight-knit cooker Two Bass Hit is more successful, not to say spectacular. Thelonious Monk’s Straight No Chaser – John Coltrane’s rapid development from Davis, Monk and back to Davis again is the stuff of myth – moves along at a leisurely swinging pace. Davis fluffs a note during the end sequence. The fact that Davis agreed on the release of the best take of the afternoon regardless of his imperfect ending speaks volumes about the so-called Dark Prince’s generosity and professionalism.

Sid’s Ahead is a relaxed blues reworking of Walkin’, one of the starting points of hard bop from the Davis bag from 1954. Red Garland had a beef with Davis and walked out of the session. Davis switched from trumpet to piano. Perhaps as a result of the well-worn changes Paul Chambers is daydreaming and introduces his first solo statements while Cannonball seems to obliviously move on into his next chorus of soloing. Or do they miss the expert and forceful accompaniment of Red Garland? Or were the vibes temporarily cast in gloom because of Red’s sudden absence? Perfect irony: Garland was granted a piano trio feature that made it to the release. With sound reason, because Billy Boy is vintage Garland, a swinging, fluent, coherent mix of single lines and his innovative block chords. The spectacular bowed bass part by Chambers is the cherry on top.

A gathering of giants, with top form Miles Davis at the helm.

Jazz In Times Of Corona Vol. 2

JAZZ IN TIMES OF CORONA Vol. 2 –

A couple of weeks gone by, the same insecurity and surreal everyday life still happening, slow-motion life but a speed course in disaster control… Most jazz musicians now expect that steady gigs will remain dried up at least till the end of summer. In Jazz In Times Of Corona Volume 1, Simon Spillett, Félix Lemerle and Ellister van der Molen talked about coping with the Covid-19 crisis. (See here) Today we have drummer Michael Duffy from Los Angeles, U.S.A., guitarist Ricardo Pinheiro from Lisbon, Portugal, tenor saxophonist Joan Benavent from Valencia, Spain and alto saxophonist Maarten Hogenhuis from Vinkeveen in the Amsterdam region of The Netherlands talk about their perspective on the situation. Where do they stand now that their professional career is in jeopardy? Which are their everyday endeavors now that gigs have dried up? How do they perceive the future for the jazz business? And, last but not least, is there a positive note to the shock that the crisis has brought about? Nothing like a warm live atmosphere, let’s hope for the best and the beat and the bass and the drums and all the rest…


Michael Duffy: “Well, we’ve never experienced anything like this in most of our lives, so the art of social distances is not being handled well. I love it cause I’m an introvert, so I’ve hunkered down and got some creative shit brewing, but for most people it’s really hard.”

Maarten Hogenhuis: “Not to be able to perform till June 1 (Dutch cautionary measures, FM) is a bitter pill to swallow. I expect that the period will be extended at least till summer. It is a financial loss, but the thing that bothers me most is the fact that I can’t play in a live setting, which is the thing that satisfies me most about being a musician! By day I spend time in the studio in my backyard, composing, practicing and elaborating on unfinished and new stuff. I also teach online. And for something completely different I developed a catering service with my wife. I love cooking and it’s a great way to help out friends and relatives. So I’m altogether keeping myself busy!”

Joan Benavent: “I miss the feedback from musicians and from audiences. Performing is a way of dealing with one’s fears and a necessity for me. But I certainly don’t feel like a bird in a cage. I accepted the situation and keep expressing my artistic identity through other paths more intensively than before, like writing music or practicing. And of course I keep in touch with my colleagues online. It’s very inspiring. I consider them my teachers. Being a teacher myself, I think the crisis is the same kind of nuisance than for others in the workforce of society. I teach between 15 and 20 hours a week and in order to do it online I have to design extra material, plus correct and assess more student’s works than usually, because most of the practical exercises have to be recorded to avoid connection problems.”

Ricardo Pinheiro: “The situation is dramatic, especially for many musicians who rely 100% on playing live. I had many concerts cancelled both in Portugal and abroad, including the official release concert of my CD. Here in Portugal, we didn’t see any clear and organised help from the Government, which is leading many musicians – and their families – to a very difficult situation. I teach at the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa, which is our higher education Conservatory. We implemented online teaching, so our students can continue studying in the best possible conditions. In general, my days are occupied with teaching, studying and taking care of my children.”

(Clockwise from l. to r: Joan Benavent; Michael Duffy in between Jimmy James & Delvon Lamarr; Maarten Hogenhuis)

Michael Duffy: “Well, it’s a huge kick to the gut, so to speak, to our community, not only did this happen but we were fighting the local government who passed a measure called AB5 which in short makes it impossible for blue collar gigging musicians to make there money as an independent contractor. Now moving forward I’m unsure how the LA landscape looks, but I’m hopeful that we can turn it around, but it will be what I believe to be a bit of a reset. As far as government support, it’s on its way, but I’m unsure how it will sustain our community, to me it’s still a lot of unknown.”

Maarten Hogenhuis: “I’m an optimist by nature and not an apocalyptic kind of guy. I’m sure that this crisis will arouse an extraordinary gulf of creativity. That is what happened after the major subsidy cuts on the arts in The Netherlands a couple of years ago. All my musician friends are immersed in composing and studying, no doubt to the benefit of the audience in the future. Undeniably, a certain amount of musicians is threatened to go under. I hope they will be ok and that the backlash for our music won’t be too bad.”

Michael Duffy: “In 6 months I’ll have a shit ton of music to make, but will I have the space and finances to record and perform? I’ll be ready to work and ready to share this experience with the music world, coming from my isolation time. Well I’m still unsure of what will happen here with live music, if we will be able to sustain ourselves financially, but I remain optimistic.”

Ricardo Pinheiro: “No one can predict what will happen in the future. I’m worried and pessimistic about what is going to happen a few months from now. Firstly, I think that even when the public health issue is controlled, it will take a long time for culture to recover, especially music. Gigs will not appear again like magic. People will not start going out to concerts instantly, because they will still be scared to be in public places… So this snowball will not stop and reverse automatically. Secondly, we will have an economic problem that will take time to heal. Unemployment will grow, so a lot of families will see their income severely affected. All of this will have a negative and last-longing impact on culture. So, I see a dark future ahead, with a lot of musicians struggling for gigs and very few opportunities on the table. I really hope I’m wrong.”

Joan Benavent: “I can’t exactly imagine what the future will bring, but I think it is going to be like the crisis of 2008, due to the economic recession that Spain in particular – and the world in general – is already suffering. During those days a lot of venues had to close down, many gigs were cancelled, the administration did not support the sector properly so a lot of musicians were forced to look for other jobs. In any case, I’m pretty sure that the scene will survive. It is already getting re-organized and soon we will have a broadly supported syndicate to fight for our rights. But first and foremost, art has always been moved by two main principals as old as humanity, that don’t depend on administration support: the own artist’s necessity of creation and the need of society for sharing and being together.”

Michael Duffy: “Well, I can only speak for myself and say, this time has made me look at playing music and recording with a different lens. I really want to leave a bunch of original organ trio music for the next generation of diggers who love soul jazz as much as I do. I’m very motivated to get cracking. But I know that there is going to be some tough time ahead and we will have to look out for our friends and colleagues in the LA scene. There may be some mental health issues to help with and how to get things back on track financially for our gigging music community.”

Ricardo Pinheiro: “This crises brings out the urgency to question the paradigm of our existence. We need to reflect on the environment at a global level and question ourselves on the use – and abuse – of natural, human and economical resources. And take appropriate action. We need to establish priorities as a group and not as individuals. We need to understand we are all connected, whether we like it or not. We need to put greed and profit in second plan and look out for each other and future generations. And we need to stop being narcissistic and selfish and be more altruistic and aware of others. I also think that this crisis is forcing us to reinvent ourselves at a creative level. We are all adapting to new ways of experiencing art and the artistic process. Let’s hope we learn from our mistakes so we can build a better future for new generations to come.”

Joan Benavent: “I firmly believe that there’s a positive note to the current crisis. We are still at the beginning of this ‘new era’ and I think it brought a lot of good things along. Personally, I now have more time to spend with my family and I reactivated contact with old friends. On a musical level, it forced me to learn new tools for working, making music and communicating. I was quite outdated in all these subjects, but never again! I have the opportunity to study and practice more deeply the music of the great masters, almost as I had when I was in school. The time spent on thinking about my life and career is helping me to mature my personality. Generally, I see many people helping each other, in the media, in the streets, in the news, something I have never seen before to such an extent.”

Maarten Hogenhuis: “I navigate between a diverse section of projects as far as 2020 is concerned, making ends meet that way. My wife is involved in management and bookings. Her roster of artists is already receiving cancellations for August and September. This leads me to conclude that the trouble for musicians is not over by far. Regardless, I somehow feel that when people will again be allowed to get together, the relief will be massive. I foresee an enormous desire for the communal feeling of live music. Who knows?”

Jazz In Times Of Corona Vol. 2

Check out these websites:
Maarten Hogenhuis here.
Ricardo Pinheiro here.

Check Michael Duffy’s groove outfit The White Blinds here.
And the trailer of Joan Benavent’s new album here.

s-l1600-25

Horace Silver Quintet/Sextet The Jody Grind (Blue Note 1967)

The Jody Grind is the last great record of Horace Silver on Blue Note.

s-l1600-25

Personnel

Horace Silver (piano), Woody Shaw (trumpet), Tyrone Washington (tenor saxophone), James Spaulding (alto saxophone A2, B1 & B2, flute A2), Larry Ridley (bass), Roger Humphries (drums)

Recorded

on November 2 & 23, 1966 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Released

as BST 84250 in 1967

Track listing

Side A:
The Jody Grind
Mary Lou
Mexican Hip Dance
Side B:
Blue Silver
Grease Piece
Dimples


It’s so damn hard to choose between favorite records and bands of the Horace Silver Quintet. His pioneering hard bop group “The Jazz Messengers” of the Horace Silver Quintet featuring Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley, Doug Watkins and Art Blakey is high on top of the list. Thumps up too for Silver’s group including Blue Mitchell, Junior Cook, Eugene Taylor and Louis Hayes/Roy Brooks. Blowin’ The Blues Away, Horace-Scope, Doin’ The Thing and Song For My Father are generally considered perfect showcases of a leader and band at the top of its game. But what about Further Explorations with Art Farmer and Clifford Jordan… That record may represent the complete synthesis of Silver’s soulful style and clever writing.

Then there’s The Jody Grind. The sleeve, always a principal factor of the charm of Blue Note albums, isn’t very promising. I’m not sure what Horace is thinking, chin resting on his hand, smiling mildly. Hey baby, what’s up with your hands? Headache? Swallowed a blue note? And what’s with the lady on the right? Looking with overrated expertise at an overrated modern painting? I’m not sure what label boss Alfred Lion was thinking. Obviously, designer Reid Miles was out to lunch. And two white birds on one sleeve was a rarity. Up until then, Blue Note had presented the blackest of black jazz, from the music, art work to the market place. Obviously, Blue Note wanted a little bite from the big white cake as well. Anyhow, The Grind cover is square, a far cry from the hip designs with the sassy ladies on Freddie Roach’s Brown Sugar, John Patton’s Oh Baby and Jimmy McGriff’s Electric Funk. Presumably, covers depicting attractive women were good sellers in general, regardless of color, but these swinging sleeves were unsurpassable!

Right?!

To be sure, by the tail end of 1966, Lion was about the leave the company, heading for Mexico and a career as a ‘pensionado’ photographer. In 1967, Blue Note was taken over by Liberty. However, Silver and co-boss Francis Wolff were loyal to each other. The pianist recorded for Blue Note until 1980.

Other than the sleeve, The Jody Grind is a killer. The tunes may not always possess the typical intricate devices of the Silver Stew such as secondary motives and extended chord progressions. But the tunes are infectious and plainly irresistible. The Jody Grind may be a perspicuous attempt at a new Sidewinder hit, but it is a lively boogaloo, Dimples is a smooth and soulful waltz, Blue Silver a tacky and deep-rooted slow blues, Mary Lou a Latin-tinged beauty, Mexican Hip Dance a first-class hip shaker and Grease Piece an overwhelming romp.

Furthermore, the band is crazy. 21-year old Woody Shaw, three years in the major league game since his contribution to Eric Dolphy’s Iron Man and Larry Young’s eponymous Unity, is as mature as few 40-somethings will ever be, his linear development excellent, richness of ideas striking, hotness of his delivery upsetting. Tenor saxophonist Tyrone Washington has similar fire, he’s an edgy player one might place somewhere between Joe Henderson and Booker Ervin and, if perhaps not of equal repute, whose bended, wailin’ notes add considerable flavor to his storytelling. James Spaulding contributes flute, but his moment of glory is a belligerent Coltrane-esque solo on alto sax during Grease Piece.

The secret of The Jody Grind’s succes, to me, is drummer Roger Humphries. Kudos to Humphries, who was also on Song For My Father, and who is a fantastic extension of Louis Hayes, demonstrating a similar mix of accompanying tricks and punch. Punch? Mayhem! During Grease Piece, it is as if Humphries has swallowed two Art Blakey pills and drank one glass of Elvin Jones.

Silver added a number of trademark shout choruses that considerably heighten the tension. His solo of Blue Silver is a marvel of economy and soul.

As you may have noticed, The Jody Grind goes to my head. Winner!

Jimmy McGriff

JIMMY MCGRIFF FOOTAGE –

I hope that whatever makes me happy makes you happy. While checking out music on YouTube during work, I stumbled upon live footage of organist Jimmy McGriff.

This seriously gave me a lift. Great footage. French voice-over, French concert poster of January/February 1969, The Apollo Club. Likely in Paris? McGriff clicks on the light for what looks like a pre-concert afternoon tv-special/announcement. Look at McGriff and his band’s driving exercise of the blues. McGriff performs Keep Loose, which was released on the Solid State album The Worm and the B-side of the single The Worm in 1968. See here.

His band here consists of tenor saxophonist Leo Johnson, guitarist Larry Frazier and drummer Jesse Kilpatrick. Frazier and Kilpatrick did not play on the recorded version but had joined McGriff’s band in ’69 and were featured on the heavy organ blues winner Step One. Johnson and Frazier are enigma’s (for me), Kilpatrick was the former drummer of organ group Billy Larkin & The Delegates.

Few played the blues with the grit, grease and controlled abandon of McGriff. Killer stuff!

RIP Wallace Roney

WALLACE RONEY –

Trumpeter Wallace Roney sadly passed away on March 31 at the age of 59. Roney succumbed to the Covid-19 virus.

A Young Lion that burst on the scene in the mid-eighties as the protegé of Miles Davis, and ex-husband of the late great pianist Geri Allen, Roney was one of the great trumpeters of his generation, enjoying stints with Art Blakey and Tony Williams and sustaining a fruitful career ever after. I coincidentally reviewed his last album, Blue Dawn Blue Nights for Jazz Journal UK, read here. Blue Dawn Blue Lights featured Roney’s nephew, Kojo Odu, on drums. Thoughts go to Roney’s wife and children.

(Clockwise from l. to r: Verses (Verve 1987); Tribute To Miles (Warner Bros 1994); Blue Dawn Blue Nights, HighNote 2019)

Read obit NY Times here.

Roney lives!