Roy Hargrove has been one of the most active jazz musicians of his generation, appearing on numerous record dates as a sideman each year in addition to leading his own CDs. The trumpeter/flugelhornist recently appeared with veteran drummer Jimmy Cobb's quartet, along with a 2005 disc by German pianist Anke Helfrich, with sterling results.
Jimmy Cobb Quartet Cobb's Corner Chesky
Cobb's Corner features Hargrove as the primary soloist, with veteran pianist Ronnie Mathews and the in-demand bassist Peter Washington rounding out the group. Whether playing standards, timeless jazz works or newer material, Hargrove shows the maturity of a master in the making, highlighted by his richly textured, spacious interpretation of the ballad "Never Let Me Go , his slinky muted horn in Mathews' brisk blues vehicle "John Charles and his expressive flugelhorn in the lush interpretation of "Lotus Blossom . This Super Audio CD captures the session beautifully without post-production fixes.
Anke Helfrich Trio featuring Roy Hargrove
Better Times Ahead
Anke Helfrich is likely an unfamiliar name to jazz fans outside of Europe, though the post-bop pianist has plenty of potential. The opportunity to record with Hargrove arose when the trumpeter had some off days during a European tour and took part in several tracks on Better Times Ahead, featuring Helfrich's regular trio of bassist Martin Gjakonovski and drummer Dejan Terzic. Following trio arrangements of Helfrich's driving, funky "Movin' In and a sauntering take of the standard "My Ship , Hargrove makes his entrance, easily negotiating the pianist's stop-and-go, angular "Der Turm and soaring over the piano in the easygoing, Latin-flavored "Thanks For Being There , both on the mellower flugelhorn. Hargrove is no stranger to fast tempos and delights in the rapid-fire treatment of Thelonious Monk's "I Mean You , offering his hottest trumpet solo of the date. Helfrich's solo setting of "Ask Me Now mixes lyricism, bop, a bit of stride and an appreciation for Monk's sense of humor.
Tracks and Personnel
Tracks: You and the Night and the Music; My Romance; Never Let Me Go; John Charles; My Foolish Heart; I May Be Wrong; Lotus Blossom; Book's Bossa; Ruby, My Dear; My Ship.
Personnel: Jimmy Cobb: drums; Roy Hargrove: trumpet, flugelhorn; Ronnie Mathews: piano; Peter Washington: bass.
Better Times Ahead
Tracks: Movin' In; My Ship; Der Turm; Thanks For Being There; Better Times Ahead; I Mean You; Minatur: An- Ma-De; Trust & Faith; Ask Me Now.
Personnel: Anke Helfrich: piano; Roy Hargrove: trumpet, flugelhorn; Martin Gjakonovski: bass; Dejan Terzic: drums, percussion.