658

Roy Hargrove Presents the RH Factor: Hard Groove

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Having previously immersed his trumpet in two 'new soul' collaborations in 2000—D'Angelo's Grammy Award-winning Voodoo album and subsequent tour, plus songstress Erykah Badu's Mama's Gun album—Roy Hargrove dives headfirst into the soul pool. RH Factor blends a core band of two saxophonists, three keyboard players, two bassists and drummers, and two guitarists (including legendary soul session ace Cornell Dupree) with the best and brightest from the soul and R&B 'new schools' including D'Angelo, Badu, Meshell Ndegeocello, Steve Coleman, Karl Denson, Marc Cary, and two hip-hop MCs: Common and Q-Tip. 'I just wanted to open a door that would allow the musicians involved in jazz and the musicians involved in the R&B / hip-hop mainstream to form some music that would have no limit,' Hargrove explains. 'It's like a merging of those two worlds.'

Hargrove meets his objective, perhaps even surpasses it, with an album that sounds like one Lester Bowie and Maxwell would make together. He steers Hard Groove toward the trumpet school opened by Donald Byrd, especially with the wah-wah sound trumpet production and hand-clapping street funk of 'Common Free Style.' There are other miles-tones: Hargrove's approach and brittle processed sound to his trumpet ' quicksilver darting atop roiling funk rhythms ' urge 'Juicy' and 'Out of Town' closer to such fractious pre-retirement musings of Miles as Black Beauty.

The opener, 'Hardgroove,' a clever wordplay on the leader's name, paints a new face on hard bop jazz, rocking up top with trumpet and saxophone in unison and in counterpoint, rocking down below with inventive and challenging bass and drum rhythms. Denson and Hargrove riff on Freddie Hubbard's 'Little Sunflower' to form the instrumental poetry behind Q-Tip's spoken riffing and Badu's singing on 'Poetry,' creating a very different type of vocal jazz. (Don't sweat Hargrove's jazz chops: this past February, Hargrove, Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker won the Best Instrumental Jazz Performance Grammy Award for Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall.)

Track Listing: Hardgroove; Common Free Style; I'll Stay; Interlude; Pastor "T"; Poetry; The Joint; Forget Regret; Out of Town; Liquid Streets; Kwah / Home; How I Know; Juicy; The Stroke

Personnel: Roy Hargrove (arranger, trumpet, flugelhorn, keyboards, bass, percussion, vocals); Keith Anderson (saxophones); Jacques Schwarz-Bart (saxophones); James Poyser (keyboards); Bobby Sparks (keyboards); Bernard Wright (keyboards); Spanky (Chalmers Alford) (guitars); Cornell Dupree (guitars); Pino Palladino (bass); Reggie Washington (bass); Willie Jones III (drums); Jason Thomas (drums); Erykah Badu (vocals); Steve Coleman (alto saxophone); Common (vocals); D'Angelo (vocals, Wurlitzer); Karl Denson (flute); Anthony Hamilton (vocals); Shelby Johnson (vocals); Stephanie McKay (vocals); Meshell Ndegeocello (bass); Renee Neufville (vocals); Q-Tip (vocals)

Title: Hard Groove | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Verve Music Group

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Radio
Interviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Emergence

Emergence

EmArcy
2009

buy
Earfood

Earfood

Decca Music Group
2008

buy
Distractions

Distractions

Verve Music Group
2006

buy
Nothing Serious

Nothing Serious

Verve Music Group
2006

buy
Hard Groove

Hard Groove

Verve Music Group
2003

buy

Related Articles

Read Trion Album Reviews
Trion
By Dan McClenaghan
April 22, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 22, 2019
Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019
Read A Pride Of Lions Album Reviews
A Pride Of Lions
By John Sharpe
April 21, 2019
Read Sunburst Finish Album Reviews
Sunburst Finish
By Glenn Astarita
April 21, 2019
Read This Should Be Fun Album Reviews
This Should Be Fun
By David A. Orthmann
April 20, 2019