Remembering Wallace Roney
Trumpeter, Wallace Roney, who had played with the giants of jazz, has passed away due to complications of COVID-19 this morning just before noon. Born in Philadelphia, Roney had been on the scene since he was 16 years old. Notably playing 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 the only trumpet player Miles Davis personally mentored. Miles heard him in 1983 at his birthday gala performance in Carnegie Hall. "He [Davis] asked me what kind of trumpet I had," Roney told Time magazine, "and I told him none. So he gave me one of his." Miles even chose Wallace to share the stage at his historic performance in Montreux in 1991.
Roney recorded his debut album as a leader, Verses, in 1987. Recording song 20 albums of his own, by the time he turned 40, Roney had been documented on over 250 audio recordings. Roney had said, "My goal is to make the best music I can. I enjoy, listen, and can play ALL types of music I filter my expression through the jazz experience."