A public figure or celebrity has "made it" when his face appears on the cover of TIME magazine or perhaps when a parade in her honor is held in New York. For a jazz artist, 'making it' means recording with an orchestra. Charlie Parker With Strings
may have been the first in a long line of jazz records to court the romance of a string section. For trumpeters, Clifford Brown and Chet Baker's orchestral albums come to mind.
Trumpeter Roy Hargrove was known early in his career (1989 or so) as a hard-bop descendant of Clifford Brown. His early Novus recordings (the best being The Vibe ) showed a fire in his belly for all things breakneck. A natural talent, Hargrove developed his lyrical side with explorations of the jazz tradition, the albums Family (1995) and an often overlooked trio (with Stephan Scott and Christian McBride) tribute to the music of Charlie Parker entitled Parker's Mood displayed a matured horn. His Cuban jazz record, Crisol opened a new door and returned the fire to his music with a Latin sound. Lately he has been working with a big band, I suspect a recording of which should surface soon.
Hargrove has reached a jazz pinnacle, his story has made the cover of jazz magazines and this With Strings record is his parade. But for Hargrove and his bandmates, the twelve ballads presented sound like a Ferrari driven at 10mph. His band, which includes the Cannonball Adderley descendant Sherman Irby and a pure hard-bop rhythm section seem to ooze energy restraining themselves. Moment To Moment, better than anything Terence Blanchard has produced, is Hargrove's ticket to score upcoming movies. The Monterey Jazz Festival Chamber Orchestra, whose arrangements were written by Larry Willis, Gil Goldstein, and Cedar Walton, are tastefully minimal. Perhaps the recording venue, the Monterey Peninsula, and the music choice: Mandel, Cahn, Mancini, Jobim, Dorsey, and Methany-ballads account for the quixotic feelings exuded here. A first-class recording and beautiful sound mark Hargrove's sophistication as an artist. He has painted the final scene to a very heartbreaking melancholy film in my mind. I couldn't watch it everyday, but it certainly serves it's purpose.
Track List:You Go To My Head; Always And Forever; Natural Wonders; Moment To Moment; I'm A Fool To Want You; How Insensitive; I'm Glad There Is You; A Time For Love; The Very Thought Of You; Peri; I Fall In Love Too Easily; Another Time
Personnel: Roy Hargrove ? Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Sherman Irby ? Alto Saxophone; Larry Willis ? Piano; Gerald Cannon ? Bass; Willie Jones, III ? Drums; Monterey Jazz Festival Chamber Orchestra.
| Record Label: Verve Music Group
| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream