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THE BRILLIANCE OF ROY HARGROVE DISPLAYED IN A MARVELOUS JAZZ SET
on July 29, 2008
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.)