Wallace Roney is in town. His name probably won't be recognized by many, but if the enthusiasm displayed last night by the Blues Alley audience is any indication, it won't take long for word to get around.
A recent graduate of the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts here in D.C., he has worked with Horace Silver and Art Blakey and is currently with Dollar Brand in New York.
He has his own group with him, younger brother Antoine Roney on tenor and soprano saxophone, Clarence Sea on bass, Peter Adelman at the piano, and Eric Allen on durms, all of them Washingtonians.
A dovetailed exchange between the two brothers on "Gertrude's Bounce" was evidence enough that here is a creative team to be reckoned with. On Wayne Shorter's "Pinocchio," the two began in duo playing parallel lines that each then took up in solo.
Wallace Roney has impressive control and staying powers and a warm tone that can turn pungent and biting. His solo on John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" was rich in emotion. On this same piece Antoine Roney's ideas came tumbling out, but he managed somehow to tie them together.
The strong rhythm section kept the ground shifting under one's feet with their supple tempo changes. Notable solos were prformed by bassist Sea, both pizzicato and arco, and by drummer Allen.
The Wallace Roney Quintet will be at Blue Alley again tonight.