Performing Arts: Music
July 16, 2017
Trumpeter Wallace Roney, and saxophonist, Joshua Redman fronted a band of hard driving musicians refreshing the music of Ornette Colema. A lover of all forms of music, sheets of music shift from song to song in the dynamic tribute to Coleman at Alice Tully Hall which included “Tone Dialing” and “Dancing in Your Head.”

Along with Roney and Redman, Kenny Wessel appeared on guitar, Al MacDowell and Chris Walker on bass, Davy Bryant on Keyboards, Badal Roy on Tablas and Denardo Coleman snapped the drums.

In Coleman’s music the players must listen intently to each other before adding their musical comments to the whole. Their intellects are on display as well as their jazz chops. Central to Coleman’s compositions are the many sonic colors derived by mixing eastern and western sounds, lyrical and choppy rhythms that guide the jazz sonic compositions into a satisfying complex wheel of musical references.

Stanchly backed by dance beats, the musicians pushed each other into creative improvisational territory. Muscular and soulful, Roney chomps into the music’s deepest colors while Redman’s versatile saxophone corners the abstract elements.

All the musicians look to Denardo Coltrane for the music’s rhythmic wit (Coleman exuded humor in his work), Badal Roy’s intricately haunting tabla, the classical streams stemming from the guitar of Kenny Wessel and majestic bass riffs distributed by MacDowell and Walker.

Altogether, the music finds a sweet notch, and then circles away and to the composition’s heart never losing sight of Coleman’s soul.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis

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