Customer Reviews: Earfood
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4.7 out of 5 stars50
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Five HUGE Stars!! Jazz music flourishes in the hands of double Grammy-winner Roy Hargrove: hands holding both his flaming trumpet & flugelhorn and his brilliantly arranged themes and compositions. Roy Hargrove continues to showcase his brilliant trumpet virtuosity, open and muted, both of which escape the spell of Miles. This is one of the most approachable and enjoyable CDs of the year: carrying a definite Blue Note 1960's tinge at times (which is to say-timeless) and at other times just plain great modern Hargrove music. Mr Hargrove is assisted by a highly talented group of musicians which includes: Justin Robinson on alto/tenor sax and flute, Gerald Clayton on piano, Danton Boller on bass, and Montez Coleman on drums, all of whom solo brilliantly and interplay in a highly empathetic way. The rhythm section is particularly impressive as are Messrs. Clayton and Robinson, individually. Roy's goal was to produce enjoyable, engaging, unpretentious music and he succeeded on all levels!!

The 'best of the best' begins with Cedar Walton's marvelous "I'm Not So Sure" with Roy blowing hot liquid notes in a great solo and his band-mates likewise soloing assuredly in a song cast with a gospel/funk glow. "Joy Is Sorrow Unmasked" is pure jazz beauty, voiced to perfection and soloed wonderfully. "Rouge" is wonderful unison playing all the way through, somewhat in the area code of Charles Mingus' "Self-Portrait in Three Colors", but still individualistic, and "Divine" has Roy in solo ballad mode on flugelhorn. "The Stinger" is a multi-tiered delight, with Justin Robinson getting off a great solo, showing some Cannonball influences. The funky playful "Strasbourg/St. Denis" has a laid-back beat and superb solos that emulate a bright sunny day and which stay in the mind for days. "Brown" is pushed along by Montez Coleman's rimshots and beautiful unison muted trumpet and sax. In all, a great jazz CD of 14 songs that is one of the best of 2008, so far. Bravo, Roy Hargrove!! My Highest Recommendation. Five Big Stars
(This review is based on an iTunes digital download.
Trivia: Roy Hargrove was 'discovered' by trumpet master Wynton Marsalis.)
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VINE VOICEon August 15, 2008
I have listened to Roy Hargrove's work for years. Early, he had great tone and feeling for the music. However the last few albums seemed too experimental and noisy for my tastes. On his latest he has returned to a more lyrical and melodic approach and I think this is a great improvement.

His slower lyrical ballads stand out, whether we are talking about standards like "Speak Low" or some of his original ballads, like "Joy is Sorrow Unmasked" and "Divine" all are played with a lot of feeling.

There was a particular sound to Blue Note jazz in the late 50's to early 60's. Hank Mobley in particular and Lee Morgan sometimes had this breezy moderate tempo sound that seemed, to me at least, full of optimism. Like Mobley's work with The Jazz Messengers, maybe "Nica's Dream" or "Ecaroh". (That type of song disappeared in the turmoil of the late 60's, but that's another story). Anyway that sound, that groove, is here in a number of songs like "Wisdom to the Prize". Again, welcome!

Most of the album is tuneful and lyrical and relaxed, like the music not of a young turk, but of a master. Earfood, and a nurishing meal! Recommended.
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on March 19, 2009
Absolutely beautiful music. It should get 6 stars. I heard the track "Starmaker" on my cable jazz station and immediately fell in love with it and that was the first I had heard of this CD. I then went to Amazon and read all the reviews and decided there must be something to this. I just got the CD today and played it through and cant agree more with the previous reviews. There is something so elemental, seemingly effortless about the playing here, the close ensemble and complementary way the group interacts that projects the very essence of jazz, of music, period. I'll be playing this one for a long, long time.
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on December 11, 2008
I love jazz, have listened to it for 40 years, go to a few concerts each year, and have a huge jazz collection. I really go by one thing when I am listening to jazz: "Do I enjoy the music?" Roy Hargrove's album, earfood, is a very enjoyable album. It is straight ahead Jazz with a bit of a Gospel feel. The final cut, "Bring It On Home To Me" is terrific. I have been only somewhat familiar with Hargrove in the past, but this album has led me to go back and pick up some of his earlier albums. If you are wanting a wonderful fresh new jazz album to add to your collection or just wanting to pick up a jazz album for the first time, you can't go wrong with earfood!
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on February 20, 2015
This album is one of the best Jazz trumpet albums I have ever heard! It ranks at the top of the list and I would put this against any album in recorded Jazz history and it would hold it's own! There is no other album I own or have ever heard that I could say pales in comparison to, it's that good! This is one of the best albums I have heard not in just the last year, but in years period! Would LOVE to catch Roy Live in Ohio!!!
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on August 3, 2008
I've been following Roy Hargrove for many years now. With the new album Earfood, he has created a Jazz masterpiece. A must buy for any Roy Hargrove fan and this would be a great introduction to his music if you are not. Highly recommended!
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on April 5, 2009
This is certainly a pleasant sounding album and aptly titled. For those who like to categorize their music one might say that this is smooth jazz on steroids but there is little food for either the soul or the brain in most of the 13 tunes on this CD. Roy Hargrove's playing is near perfect but it appears he demands a little less from his saxophone playing sideman, Justin Robinson who's soloing lapses into near sloppiness at times. However,there are some memorable tunes on this CD."Bring It On Home To Me" is a terrific tune (apparently live) that captures the entire quintet on a high note. "Mr Clean" and the opening track "I'm Not So Sure" are tight cohesive example of the talent that could have made this a better CD. A Hargrove CD that is truly worthy of the 5 stars reveiwers here heaped on "Earfood" is the trio recording with Stephen Scott and Christian McBride,"Parker's Mood"
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on June 23, 2012
This is one of the best albums I've bought in decades I just can't stop listening to it. Hargrove has a real Jazz soul you can tell he's studied the masters and evolved his own sound. His band is stellar, great group sound. I say one day this will be one of those album mentioned when people ask I want to get into jazz what should I listen to Ear Food will be on the list.
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on June 25, 2009
This release from Roy Hargrove satisfies both the ear and brain (and often, feet that want to shuffle). A straight-ahead jazz album, of interesting music, that you will want to play again and again. Highly recommended for the jazz enthusiast.
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on November 16, 2014
Hopefully you have a nice home audio system to listen to this cd on, sonically it's absolutely wonderful & each track has a great deal of depth to it. I highly recommend this cd for your listening enjoyment.
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