For me “The Reckless Search for Beauty” is about coming full circle in my career as a trombonist, composer, and arranger. My musical growth has been nurtured by many great artists like Pete Escovedo, John Santos and Machete, Julian Priester, Conjunto Céspedes, Tito Puente, Bobby Hutcherson, Narada Michael Walden, and many more. The gift that these musicians share is their relentless search for new means of musical expression. Walking the artistic tightrope every time one plays, looking for those fleeting moments of pure inspiration.
My parents introduced me to jazz via Charlie Parker, Nat “King” Cole, and Oscar Pettiford records. This was my entre to Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and the world of jazz. I would listen to the local Bay Area jazz station (the dearly departed KJAZ) for hours on end. I learned about the tradition of the music and discovered the names and styles of older jazz musicians as well as new ones. I later sat in at the San Francisco jazz clubs of the famous Fillmore district. The Both/And, Jack’s of Sutter, and many more jazz clubs. I learned many valuable lessons hanging out with the older jazz musicians at the San Francisco musicians union that still serve me well.
My roots are also in the music of the1960-70’s. The first full-time R&B band I worked in was a James Brown cover group. I grew up in the same neighborhood with many of the members of Sly Stone and the Family and Santana. Greg Adams of Tower of Power and I were in a Boys Club jazz group together. I would spend every available free night going to the Fillmore West and other rock clubs to listen to Cold Blood, Buddy Miles, Chicago and other horn groups.
My other great love is studying the Afro-centric music of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Perú. In the 1980’s I joined Pete Escovedo’s band, the Machete Ensemble and later on Conjunto Céspedes. From 1993 to 1998, I had the pleasure of studying Afro-cuban music at the National School of the Arts in Havana, Cuba. This experience opened me up to a universe of new musical possibilities that I’m still excited about.
The songs and arrangements on this album reflect my take on the “search” I have been on. I love finding the intersections where different styles of music meet and blend. The touches of rhythm and blues in the guitar work, the jazz harmonies in the horns and the keyboards, the polyrhythms of the drums, the voices “bringing down the spirit”, all working together in a variety of musical settings. Early jazz groups mainly played for dances. The relationship between musician and dancer is an act of synergy where each one constantly feeds the other. All the songs on this project are derived from dance styles (mambo, cha-cha-chá, samba, “Old School R+B-Funk”, danzón, bolero).
When you listen, I hope you enjoy this music as much as I do.
-Wayne Wallace 2006
Wayne Wallace: trombone-ALL TRACKS,
Alexa Weber-Morales: vocals-TRACKS 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11
John Santos: perc.-ALL TRACKS
Michael Spiro: perc.-ALL TRACKS
Paul Van Wageningen: trap drums-ALL TRACKS
David Belove: ALL TRACKS
Murray Low: piano-TRACKS 1-6, 8, 9, 10
Frank Martin: piano and synthesizer-TRACKS 3-5, 7, 8, 11
David Yamasaki: All tracks
Louis Fasman: trumpet and flugelhorn-TRACKS 1-10
John Worley: trumpet and flugelhorn-TRACKS 1-10
Melecio Magdaluyo: alto sax, bari sax, and flute-TRACKS 1-10
Ron Stallings: tenor sax-TRACKS 1-10
Ron Hollins: vocals-TRACKS 3, 5, 8
Dave Martell: trombone-TRACKS 2, 10
Kat Parra: vocals-TRACKS 1, 3, 5, 8
Orlando Torriente: vocals-TRACKS 1, 3, 5, 8
Sheryl-Lynn Wallace: vocals-TRACKS 1, 3