Hard Groove

Hard Groove

5.0 1
by The RH Factor
     
 
Trumpeter Roy Hargrove follows his romantic, string-laden Moment to Moment with Hard Groove, a fairly fabulous fusion of jazz, R&B, and hip-hop. Coming together as the RH Factor are contemporary jazz players Bernard Wright on keyboards and saxophonist Keith Anderson; Soulive saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart; R&B guitarist Chalmers “Spanky” Alford;

Overview

Trumpeter Roy Hargrove follows his romantic, string-laden Moment to Moment with Hard Groove, a fairly fabulous fusion of jazz, R&B, and hip-hop. Coming together as the RH Factor are contemporary jazz players Bernard Wright on keyboards and saxophonist Keith Anderson; Soulive saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart; R&B guitarist Chalmers “Spanky” Alford; old-school guitarist Cornell Dupree; gospel keyboardist Bobby Sparks; jazz bassist Reggie Washington; R&B bassist Meshell Ndegeocello; and a variety of drummers and vocalists. The title cut is an instrumental high point, flashing back to '70s soul jazz with a fresh horn arrangement rising out of the funk. “Pastor T” hits the funk a little bit harder, but Hargrove’s trumpet oozes in and around the groove like melted butter on hotcakes. After an opening rap by Q-Tip, Erykah Badu sings lead on the spacey “Poetry.” Stephanie McKay, who is noted for her work with Tricky, is more interesting on “Forget Regret,” as is Shelby Johnson’s fragile voice on “How I Know.” The best of the guest vocalists is D’Angelo, whose singing builds to a howl on George Clinton’s “I’ll Stay.” Hargrove has played brilliantly on a number of R&B and hip-hop artists’ recordings, and the far-reaching Hard Groove should continue to expand his visibility beyond the jazz audience.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Paula Edelstein
A new musical vision for ace jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove has manifested itself in the form of Hard Groove. This neo-soul/jazz project showcases Erykah Badu, Common, D'Angelo, Marc Cary, and jam band icon saxophonist Karl Denson on a 14-track set that is laden with funk, groove, freestyle rap poetry, and sultry hip-hop/R&B mood swings. Hargrove's interesting horn and keyboard improvisations stem from extensive knowledge of each musician's work and, perhaps even more importantly, from close personal friendships developed as an underground club jam session warrior in N.Y.C. He also plays flügelhorn and percussion, and adds background vocals on several compositions. Opening with "Hardgroove," the set eases into a groove that is skillfully combined with Hargrove's meticulous riffs and segues into the band's free interpretation of an all-out jam session. "Common Free Style" is just that, a free rap session crammed with intimate details. This team-up works, and Common's prose style is exemplary in his choice of words and inspiring atmosphere. As one of the ladies who sings with the band, Grammy-winning Erykah Badu presents a valuable addition to the literature of hip-hop and jazz on several levels. On "Poetry," her rap is an entertaining and unpretentious chronicle of knowing the way to go in life, recounted with honesty and sincerity. Overall, Roy Hargrove has evolved as a hipper version of himself and given his listeners an entirely new musical direction than that heard on his Grammy-winning release Habana or his sensuous ballad recording Moment to Moment. Hard Groove is simply an exploration of his multidimensional musical attributes and his belated recognition of years of "open-eared moonlighting." In any case, the ultra-hip trumpeter manages not to alienate his die-hard jazz fans by intersecting with many of the icons of hip-hop, R&B, and neo-soul. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/20/2003
Label:
Verve
UPC:
0044006519227
catalogNumber:
065192
Rank:
14641

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

RH Factor   Primary Artist
Steve Coleman   Alto Saxophone,Guest Appearance
Roy Hargrove   Bass,Percussion,Piano,Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Bernard Wright   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,ARP
Marc Cary   Wurlitzer
D'Angelo   Vocals,Background Vocals,Wurlitzer,Guest Appearance
Cornell Dupree   Guitar
Shelly Johnson   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Gene Lake   Drums
Meshell Ndegeocello   Bass,Guest Appearance
Renee Neufville   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Pino Palladino   Bass
James Poyser   Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals,fender rhodes
Q-Tip   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Reggie Washington   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Karl Denson   Flute,Guest Appearance
Stephanie McKay   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Bobby Sparks   Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Clavinet,ARP,fender rhodes
John Arthur Lee   Bass
Erykah Badu   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Anthony Hamilton   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Daniel Moreno   Percussion
Common   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng   Percussion
Donte Winslow   Background Vocals,Finger Snapping
Willie Jones   Drums
Jacques Schwarz-Bart   Acoustic Guitar,Flute,Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Chalmers "Spanky" Alford   Guitar
G. Craig "Butter" Glanville   Drums,Background Vocals
Keith Loftis   Tenor Saxophone
Maurice Brown   Trumpet
Maurice Brown   Background Vocals
Tony Suggs   Hammond Organ
Keith Anderson   Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Jason Thomas   Drums,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Roy Hargrove   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Eddie Hazel   Composer
George Clinton   Composer
Larry Clothier   Executive Producer
Russell Elevado   Producer,Engineer
Johnny Mandel   Composer
Jason Olaine   Producer
James Poyser   Composer
Craig Glanville   drum machine
B.J. Wright   Composer
Stephen Jones   Composer
Hollis King   Art Direction
Steve Mandel   Engineer
Rudy Guiterrez   Illustrations
Esantis Washington   Composer
Donte Winslow   drum machine
Jacques Schwarz-Bart   Composer

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album of neo-soul gems further establishes Roy Hargrove as one of the "keepers of the flame" to two sets of American musical treasures, jazz, and now, soul. Hargrove has continually challenged himself and those with who he collaborates to expand the boundaries of their musicianship and incorporate the imagination and artistry of fellow collaborators. On this work, as with previous efforts, he and they have succeeded. The almost spare interpretations and perspectives on soul, funk and spoken word/rap sets a standard for others to emulate. Most pleasing are the appearances by Q-Tip, Common and Eryka Badu. This is a must have album for the true aficianado of soul - because that is where its from and that is where it connects.