ACCLAIMED TROMBONIST, ARRANGER, and COMPOSER WAYNE WALLACE
RETURNS WITH INFINITY, AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 11 on PATOIS RECORDS
*Featuring vocalist Jackie Ryan and flutist/vibraphonist Roger Glenn*
“Trombonist” and “Rising Star Producer” — DownBeat Magazine, 2008 Critics Poll
“The Nature of the Beat bursts with brassy joy and ecstatic rhythm…” — David Rubien, San Francisco Chronicle
“No matter what or where he plays, Wallace brings not just musicianship but also that rare quality of music as the means to uplift listeners’ spirits to a higher level.” — Larry Kelp, East Bay Express
Following hot on the heels of the success of his critically acclaimed CD The Nature of the Beat (which spent two weeks at #1 on Jazz Week’s “World Top 50 Chart”) the musically multi-lingual Wayne Wallace returns with Infinity, a disc that features his Latin Jazz Quintet. There is no stopping this first-call trombonist, arranger, producer, and composer whose fluency in countless styles has brought him to work with a staggering number of luminaries from across the musical spectrum. In Downbeat’s 2008 Critics Poll, he was not only championed as one of the top trombonists of the year, but was also named a “Rising Star” producer.
Infinity, Wallace’s fourth production on Patois Records, sparkles with the same signature energy that infuses all his work. Once again, Wallace has put together a fascinating collection of originals, standards, and Latin jazz classics, showing the how these genres interconnect to create a quintessentially American music. Wallace’s virtuosity on the horn really shines on this disc, and his masterful compositions and arrangements give everyone else a chance to cook as well. He and his band mates (Murray Low, piano and keyboard; David Belove, bass; Michael Spiro, Latin percussion and percussion arrangements; Paul van Wageningen, Trap drums) are all venerated masters of Latin music and Latin jazz. They’ve collaborated consistently for five years, and the cohesion of the ensemble is apparent in every track, from the tightness of the groove on Wallace’s red-hot Songo Colorado, to the laid-back spaciousness given to the gorgeous ballad Memories of You. Though this is technically a small group setting, the Quintet has an incredible fullness and complexity of sound. Wallace augments the group with a chorus on two tunes, and creates further big-band sonorities on a number of tracks by honoring the great trombone groups of Conjunto Libre, J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding, and Orquesta Revé, most notably on the originals Songo Colorado and TBA. Amazingly, Wallace is playing all the parts!
Acclaimed vocalist Jackie Ryan and legendary flutist/vibraphonist Roger Glenn make stellar contributions as the album’s special guests. Ryan’s appeal was described by Billboard Magazine as “[bridging] the gap between both geography and generations,” and in this she is a perfect partner for Wallace. She deftly interprets his joyful arrangement of the Gershwin classic Love Walked In, opening the song with touching poignancy but shifting to ebullience as the arrangement crackles to life with the optimism expressed in the words. On Close Your Eyes she is playfully seductive. Glenn, recognized as one of the master flute and vibraphone players of the world, has performed with such giants of jazz and Latin music as Dizzy Gillespie, Mongo Santamaria, Herbie Mann, Cal Tjader and Rosemary Clooney. A New York native, he got his start listening to his father, Tyree Glenn, play trombone and vibraphone with Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong. On Wallace’s dance floor-worthy Cha-Cha De Alegria, he astounds and swings hard on both instruments.
For the melody of the Jovino Santos Neto tune As Cores Da Menina (The Colors of a Girl) Wallace trades in his trombone for melodica, and wonderfully evokes the innocence of youth. The group shifts gears and stretches out for Straight Life/Mr. Clean, a Latin Funk rendition of Freddie Hubbard’s “Straight Life” that segues seamlessly into “Mr. Clean” as an outro. The disc’s title track is inspired by Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XLIV which includes the lines “I love you in order to begin to love you, to start infinity again and never to stop loving you…” Wallace’s enduring love of Afro-Cuban music and Jazz has led him to create another incredible musical offering that brings joy to our hearts.
San Francisco native Wayne Wallace has a long and distinguished resume that includes work with a wide range of musicians including Count Basie, Ray Charles, Joe Henderson, Stevie Wonder, McCoy Tyner, Carlos Santana, Lionel Hampton, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Sonny Rollins, Pearl Bailey, Tony Williams, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Lena Horne, Pete Escovedo, Celine Dion, Los Van Van, John Lee Hooker, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Chris Isaak, Con Funk Shun, and cellist Jean Jeanrenaud of the Kronos String Quartet, to name just a few.
While he is known to many as “The Doctor” for his production skills, Wallace is also a lauded composer who has received grants from the N.E.A., the Zellerbach Foundation, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. His work as an educator has brought him to institutions such as Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and San Jose State University, as well as workshops in Europe and Cuba. His own teachers included Julian Priester, Bobby Hutcherson and Will Sudmeier. He also studied at La Escuela Nacional in Havana, Cuba, and continues to travel to the culturally rich island nation as both a student and educator. His independent label, Patois Records, has released critically acclaimed CDs by Wallace as well as Kat Parra and Alexa Weber Morales.
Pianist Murray Low is a veteran of the Bay Area jazz scene whose multi-faceted career has included both local and international performances with Tito Puente, Poncho Sanchez, Nestor Torres, Orlando “Maraca” Valle, Bob Mintzer, Clark Terry, Benny Golson, John Patitucci, George Duke, Bob Sheppard, and John Handy. After developing a keen interest in Latin jazz, salsa and Afro-Cuban music, he established himself as one the Bay Area’s premier pianists in that genre. In addition to his work with Wallace, he is the regular pianist for the Pete Escovedo Orchestra, John Calloway, Jesus Diaz y su QBA, and Grammy-nominated John Santos’ Machete Ensemble. He has also collaborated with Latin jazz giants Ray Vega, Nestor Torres, Maraca, and Andrea Brachfeld.
David Belove is the Bay Area’s most prominent Latin and Brazilian bassist. He has recorded, performed or toured with Pete and Sheila Escovedo, Tito Puente, John Santos and the Machete Ensemble, Rebeca Mauleón, Edgardo Cambon y Candela, Rolando Morales, Homenagem Brasiliera, and Wayne Wallace. David has also worked with jazz artists including Joe Henderson, Blue Mitchell, Eddie Harris, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Larry Coryell, Louis Bellson, Mark Murphy and Pat Metheny.
Michael Spiro is an internationally recognized percussionist, recording artist, and educator in the Latin music field. He has performed on thousands of records, co-produced and played on several instructional videos for Warner Bros. Publications, and produced seminal recordings in the Latin music genre. He’s worked with such diverse artists as David Byrne, Cachao, The Caribbean Jazz Project, Ella Fitzgerald, Gilberto Gil, Giovanni Hidalgo, Toninho Horta, Bobby Hutcherson, Dr. John, Mark Levine, Machete Ensemble, Bobby McFerrin, Andy Narell, Ray Obiedo, Chico O’Farrill, Eddie Palmieri, Carlos Santana, Grace Slick, Omar Sosa, Talking Drums, Clark Terry, McCoy Tyner and Charlie Watts and is a frequent visiting artist at universities worldwide.
A native of Amsterdam, drummer Paul van Wageningen has long made the Bay Area his home, and his constantly in-demand rhythm section skills have brought him to work with Stan Getz, Machete Ensemble, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo, Mark Levine, and many others.