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Greeting’s jazz connoisseurs, I’m back to showcase another tasty review of who’s who in the world of jazz from the shelves of “Flux Music Essentials.”
Roy Hargrove -][- Nothing Serious – [Verve, 2006]
… releases by Hargrove out now is another stellar turn at just how remarkable and inventive and vibrant a band leader he is. DISTRACTIONS is a great fun record, this is a powerhouse of intricate turns on jazz standard style music, with a subtlety and a dynamism that often gets buried by those attempting to preserve the “purity of jazz.” Whatever that is.
In Hargrove’s case, the point is shut up and play. And does he ever! In so doing he has assembled a group of colleagues who still have something to prove within a given context – i.e. that this context can still matter vitally to how you consider your life. And while it is ironically titled, his irony underscores the accomplishments he has effected with this terrific release. You’ll like everything about this: it was recorded nearly perfectly – the definition among the players is clear. The music reaches over and pulls you into its confidence, and you will find yourself coming away from the experience beaming with ideas. This is a truly inspirational effort and without making any more of it, let’s just say that God help us all if Roy gets real serious. —o dubhthaigh | Amazon.com Continue reading
Greeting’s jazz lovers, I’m back with another tasty serving of who’s who in the world of jazz from the shelves of “Flux Music Essentials.”
Esperanza Spalding -|- Esperanza – [Heads Up International, 2009]
In recent memory, not many artists can claim victory to the promise land with a splash as the gifted Esperanza Spalding has conquered with her voice of duality as a bassist and vocalist. While petite in stature, as silly as it is some might let this distract them from paying attention to her music. At present, this admirable young lady retains her spot as an incomparable talent that transcends her twenty-three years beyond what jazz enthusiast’s might expect from her sophomore and debut record “Esperanza” on Heads Up International.
On these gorgeous collection of songs, Esperanza’s signature swells with detailed and rhythmic symmetry combined with her adoring voice equals utter splendor to any listener who enjoys a potent injection of jazz coupled with an abundance of Brazilian/Latin music.
Esperanza attaches herself to a core of A-list artist on this record including flamingo guitarist Nino Josele, percussionist Jamey Haddad, and drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez along with Naw-leans saxophonist Donald Harrison. —Rob Young Continue reading
“Moment to Moment,” is absolutely stunning, adorable, captivating, expressive and soulful. These compelling classics are rejuvenated from the spirit of an extraordinary composer, arranger, producer and trumpeter Roy Hargrove. From the beginning, you’ll find yourself seduced by the impending transparency of Hargrove’s attractive tonality on these exquisite ballads and arrangements. These infinite treasures will envelope you with a stream of imminent melodies painting a picture of soncially challenging, stimulating, beautiful, and inspiring music. Simply amazing, this buoyant masterpiece is one to savor from this point to eternity! ~ The Urban Flux
Roy Hargrove | Moment to Moment – [Polygram Records, 2000]Since the 1950s, the album Clifford Brown with Strings has set the standard for playing ballads on the trumpet. In the 1980s, Wynton Marsalis’s “Hot House Flowers” was a welcome addition to that ballad tradition. With Moment to Moment, Roy Hargrove sets a soft tone for the 21st century. Backed by alto saxophonist Sherman Irby, pianist Larry Willis, bassist Gerald Cannon, and drummer Willie Jones III, Hargrove’s tender trumpet and flügelhorn beautifully combine the best of Freddie Hubbard’s power and Art Farmer’s phrasing. Draped with pillow-soft orchestrations by Hargrove, Willis, Cedar Walton, and Gil Goldstein, the leader sings through his horn with a longing and lyrical melodic touch. Chestnuts like “You Go to My Head,” Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “How Insensitive,” and the title track by Henry Mancini come alive with the same freshness found on Hargrove’s newer gems, including Pat Metheny’s tearful “Always and Forever” and the trumpeter’s own “Natural Wonders.” Simply put, this offering from Roy Hargrove is a splendid love letter for a new century. —Eugene Holley Jr.
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The arctic freeze is seriously kicking the eastern half of the U.S. Apparently, I forgot to complete this … it’s obvious posting while sleepy isn’t exactly the best thing to do while blogging. Let’s kick off Friday with another diverse mix of “The Weekend Spin,” with four tasty yet challenging jazz titles delve into. Enjoy!
Roy Hargrove | RH Factor: Hard Groove [Jazz/Funk/Verve/2003]
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”. ~ Source: Amazon.com/Souldrummer