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Wayne Wallace

Jazzed Magazine • October 2009What's on Your Playlist? • October 28, 2009

Wayne Wallace

Collaborations with the likes of Carlos Santana, Ray Charles, Sonny Rollins, John Lee Hooker, and Tito Puente, among many others, have established trombonist, composer/arranger, and producer Wayne Wallace as a powerful force in the world of jazz and beyond.

Recipient of a NEA grant for jazz composition and frequently singled out in critics’ and readers’ polls for his masterful trombone work, Wayne is also a dedicated educator who is currently teaching at San Jose State University and The Jazz School in Berkeley, California.

2008’s well-received Infinity (Patois) from the Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet was followed in the fall of 2009 by Bien Bien! (Patois).

1. Louis Armstrong – Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

I listen to this a lot. “Pop’s” playing and singing during this period was the embodiment of jazz. There is a joy and spirit in the paying that always brings me back to listen to these recordings. Wish I could have seen and heard this era.

2. Ornette Coleman – Sound Grammar

Still one of the most dynamic forces in modern music this recording absolutely knocks me out. Ornette constantly amazes me with his musical vocabulary, knowledge and iconoclastic style.

3. Yo-Yo Ma The Silk Road Ensemble – Beyond The Horizon

I love this recording. No borders and no pre-conceived musical limitations, “World Classical music” performed beautifully with passion and tremendous musicianship. Really inspiring!

4. Duke Ellington – The Blanton/Webster Band

This disc showcases perhaps Ellington’s best writing and his band at the height of its artistic powers. Hard to imagine a better group of musicians anywhere. I keep listening to this because I find something new in all the songs and arrangements each time.

5. Danilo Perez – Central Avenue

In my opinion this is what contemporary jazz is about. Beautiful solos, exploring tradition, embracing your roots and experimenting with new ideas that help you move the music forward. Check out “Panama Blues.”

6. Steely Dan – Gaucho

Never really got the credit it deserved. Aja is a masterpiece but Gaucho has as much going on for it. For me “Time Out of Mind”, “Gaucho” and “Third World Man” sit right at the nexus of pop and jazz.

7. Gonzalo Rubacala – Live in Havana

One of my all time favorite groups and live albums. I really dig the arrangements, very cool mixture of Cuban jazz with folkloric elements. Gonzalo hits hard from beginning to end as a leader and soloist. Great arrangement of “On Green Dolphin Street.”

8. Various Artists – The Soul of Black Peru

This was my introduction to studying Afro-Peruvian music. I’ve never stop listening to this album. Subtle rhythmic stylings and it’s fun to sing and dance to!

9. Stevie Wonder – Fulfillingness First Finale

Genius, pure genius!!! Nobody plays, sings and writes better. Thirty-three years and counting as one of the best pop records ever recorded!

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