Friday 23 November 2018

Roy Hargrove

November 2nd this year marked the sad passing of trumpeter, composer, band leader - Roy Hargrove.  The Texan native, under the initial tutorage of Wynton Marsalis, released his first album in 1990 and was just as adept at playing in trios as he was commanding a big band or an orchestra.

Signing to the legendary Verve Records in 1994, Hargrove won his first Grammy in 1998 for his Afro-Cuban project 'Habana' but it was his work with contemporary soul and hip-hop artists including D'Angelo ('Voodoo'), Erykah Badu ('Mama's Gun') and Common ('Like Water For Chocolate') that really introduced his work to a new generation.  His offshoot project, The RH Factor, inspired by these collaborations say him venture into the world of jazz-funk through the releases 'Hard Groove' (2003), 'Strength' (2004) and 'Distractions' (2006).

The projects were brought to life through a wide selection of musicians and vocalists including Renee Neufville, Pino Palladino, James Poyser, Meshell Ndegeocello, D'Angelo, Q-Tip, Erykah Badu, Anthony Hamilton, Stephanie McKay, amongst many others.

The importance of projects like Hargrove's RH Factor really can't be over-stated: while many can sometimes feel that jazz may not be as accessible as other forms of music, crossover and fusion projects like these do wonders in introducing jazz to a wider audience.

Our thanks and gratitude go out for everything that Roy Hargrove did in bridging these gaps.  A master of his craft who left us too early.

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