Picks and Pans Review: Mistérios
Despite spurts of brilliance, jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney has often seemed to backpedal from his potential. At times he has followed his hero Miles Davis too faithfully, and what came across in Miles as mystery often sounds in Roney, like plain old sullenness. On Mistérios, however, his playing has a newfound richness, echoing Clifford Brown's (the "other" great '50s trumpeter) as much as Davis's. If this album is an homage to Davis's '50s big-band collaborations with arranger Gil Evans (Sketches of Spain, etc.), it is just as reminiscent of the beautiful, less famous Clifford Brown with Strings. With its pop tunes and lush orchestrations, Mistérios is plainly a reach for a bigger audience. But it's no compromise: on the contrary, it's an improvement. Whatever demons have dogged Roney in the past, he has finally learned to keep them at bay. (Warner Bros.)
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