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Hard Groove

4.5 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

HARGROVE ROY HARD GROOVE

Amazon.com

Most jazz-meets-hip-hop collaborations suffer from stiff beats plastered over abstract, high-minded solos. Not so with this collection from the '70s-bred, Texan-born trumpet wunderkind. Sure, he knows the musical language and lineages of Clifford Brown and Miles Davis. But he's also down with contemporaries like D'Angelo, Q-Tip, and homegirl Erykah Badu, who appear on this star-studded CD. Hargrove is backed by an in-the-pocket assemblage of jazz-honed phenoms featuring keyboardist Marc Cary, alto saxophonist Steve Coleman, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, and flautist Karl Denson. They all put their grooves where their guts are, and the music evokes tinges of Donald Byrd's back-in-the-day waxworks. D'Angelo's down-home delivery lights up Funkadelic's psychedelic slow drag, "I'll Stay," while ebullient Common kicks up the verbal virtuosity on "Common Free Style." The Q-Tip/Erykah Badu cut "Poetry" could be a summer anthem. Throughout this tasty and tasteful project Roy Hargroove's cool and clarion trumpet tones provide the right sonic seasoning for this dancing and delectable disc. --Eugene Holley, Jr.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 20, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B000084T3J
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,753 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is an album that reveals as much about the perspective of the listener as about the music itself. Are you coming at this from a pure jazz perspective? There isn't too much straight ahead stuff on this album and you may be with the critics that bashed Roy for making something more accessible than typical jazz fare. Hoping for a jazz-hip-hop hybrid? To me this is one of the more successful combinations because Roy toured with the soulquarians and has immersed himself for the past few years in this music. He's willing to be lyrical when the time comes. I especially enjoy the track "How I Know" for example. I don't know what neo-soul fans are going to make of this and I'm curious to see how the album does saleswise. I dig the Erykah Badu/Q-Tip combination [some of Q-Tip's better recent work] "Poetry". Always happy to see a D'Angelo sighting and I'm hoping he comes out with a new solo project soon. Common's stuff is off the cuff and Ray's solo makes that track. One thing that grew on me was the production. Several tracks have Roy's trumpet electronically doctored and I feel that it works for the most part.
This album is a fun neo-soul/jazz fusion that is worth a good listen. Went into heavy rotation on my walkman for a couple of weeks once I got it. Not earth shattering, but definitely worth the purchase.
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Format: Audio CD
Yes, I fell in love with "Hard Groove". It is the best attempt of a Jazz musician ever to fuse Jazz with Hip-Hop, Soul & R&B - and time for it to appear after years of disappointing efforts (sorry, Branford Marsalis, Don Byron). "Hard Groove" lightfootedly manages to bridge the gap in a firework display of Hardbop and Funk elements, with reference to the soundtracks of Blaxploitation films and to Hip-Hop, with wonderful Soul and R&B ballads, perfectly timed and elegantly arranged.
The rappers Common and Q-Tip, Erykah Badu and D'Angelo as well as internationally acclaimed Jazz musicians Meshell Ndegeocello, Pino Palladino, Cornell Dupree and Steve Coleman make the CD a strong statement of cooperation. In addition, "Hard Groove" gives room to Hargrove as a brilliant, extremely versatile soloist and as a remarkable composer. Roy, that CD is almost perfect and a gift. Love to you!
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Format: Audio CD
Hip Hop has always been connected to Jazz, weather it was Tribe back in the early nineties, Madlib today or any other producer you can think of chances are they have used some Jazz at some point in their career. Well with this album you get a traditional Jazz trumpeter composing and arranging a straight up Jazz album with a taste of that Hip Hop spirit. Weather it's the "Common Freestyle" or Q-Tip on "Poetry" this Jazz album has just the right amount of Hip Hop to please B-Boys along with the real Jazz fans. Those are just the two tracks with emcees on them. Several other tracks stand out with some great singers performing. The epic "I'll Stay" makes you wonder where D'Angelo has been and on "Forget Regret" Stephanie McKay makes you want to find her solo CD and hope that the RH Factor backs it. This album is an impressive mix of Jazz with Hip Hop and if you are a Hip Hop head looking for an introduction to Jazz then this is the album for you. If you are a Jazz fan that has always been disgusted with Hip Hop's connection with Jazz hopefully this will show you what its all about: Good Music.
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Format: Audio CD
Should there be a time in the near future that you'd find yourself at my crib for a laid back get-together, where there is a steady buzz of convo, and everybody has settled into their positions of bartender, jokester, flirt, comedian. . .

A jazzy CD will be sparkling in the background, making the whole damn thang seem more sophisticated than it really is.

It's owner is playing it halfway to see if you're too caught in the matrix of work, sleep and bowel movements to recognize any of it. The other reason would be, simply, that Roy Hargrove's RH Factor is the mid-twenty to thirty-something's legit entrée into soulful jazz, so those for a taste of the melodic diaherrea that is Kenny G or that Bath & Bodyworks talcum-powder jazz from Yanni need not apply. Roy ain't havin' it, and I ain't either. Jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove has been a sideman for the likes of Erykah Badu and D'angelo. On the solo tip, he's amassed a solid series of albums that do justice to everything from traditional and contemporary jazz to Latin rhythms. As with the other previous outings, the R to the H flexes his connections with more all-star collabos than an over-produced rapper that can't come up with enough flow or material to do an album on their own two. Ah, but Hargrove does the combos justice, rarely missing.

"Hardgroove" is the ideal intro cut to reacquaint you to live instrumentation. It has the suave atmosphere of urban sophistication throughout. It along with "The Joint" eventually loosens its tie and kicks up the heat. This will be the point that you'll pause your conversation with whomever to try and catch everywhere the groove is going.

Another stepper is the boppy and playful "Pastor T.
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