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Wallace Roney

Concord Jazz/Stretch

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As the jazz industry continues to repackage the legacy of Miles Davis, nearly every trumpeter with a 101-level proficiency in fusion—or even drum ‘n’ bass—wants to sound like him. On No Room for Argument, Wallace Roney proves that he’s no exception. Miles has been Roney’s bailiwick for a long time, and for good reason. Not only does Roney punch clipped, vibratoless notes in quintessential Milesian fashion, he also bears an uncanny resemblance to the late jazz great, in both physique and dress. And get this: He even plays a trumpet that looks suspiciously like one of Miles’. Whether he’s tussling with a telepathic bebop quintet on “Metropolis” or casting out demons with an electro-acoustic exorcism on “Cygroove,” Roney’s trumpet is shifted into Miles mode. Even his band members seem to forgo their own musical personalities to ape Miles’ sidemen of old. On “Filles de Kilimanjaro” (which, not so incidentally, is a Miles tune), adventurous pianist Geri Allen plays Herbie Hancock, while brother Antoine Roney’s bass clarinet skulks around funky backbeats and Adam Holzman’s Bennie Maupin-inspired wah-wah keyboards. Roney & Co. are all exceptional musicians, but, like other recent trumpet-led albums (Tim Hagan and Bob Belden’s dimwitted Re-Animation Live!, for example), No Room for Argument is so far up Miles’ ass that it leaves no room for individuality. —John Murph