In almost rapid way Roy Hargrove has climbed the steps to the Olympus of the jazz musician, having in 1987 the age of 17 at a concert in Fort Worth / Texas with Wynton Marsalis could measure on stage. This encounter with the guru of Neotraditionalisten the Caravan of Dreams Art Center in Fort Worth was the young trumpeter of the first major step towards an international career. After a brief period of study at the Berklee College of Music (1988-89), the aspiring Hargrove played in December 1989, inter alia, fOr with veterans Al Foster and John Hicks Novus his debut album one that the Extremely aptly titled "Diamond In The Rough" was - because the then just 20 years protagonist was indeed a "diamond in the rough".
Another four albums were on strike for the Novus label follow shock: "Public Eye" (1990), "The Tokyo Sessions" (1991), "The Vibe" (1992) and "Of Kindred Souls" (1993). to every single consolidated Hargrove reputation, the new spearhead of the "Young Lions", those protectors and preservers of traditional jazz, be. It is no coincidence wrote the well-known critic Gary Giddins 1993 in the Village Voice: "Hargrove is the best jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis since and the most exciting since Freddie Hubbard."
First musical experience had gathered in his hometown of Dallas, Texas Roy Hargrove. The drummer Dean Hill who was in high school one of Roy's teachers, aroused in the youngster's interest in the music of Clifford Brown, Fats Navarro and Lee Morgan. The bebop and hard bop trumpeters were so own to his great role models and certain Hargrove musical direction in the early years of his career. Before he had his high school diploma in his pocket, Hargrove counted alongside Wynton Marsalis already jazz legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and Frank Morgan to his admirers. He inspired this not only by its technical perfection, but above all by the high emotional content of his playing, by his ability to tell the Horn lyrical tales. That he had his own head at a young age, proved Hargrove when he refused a tempting offer from Art Blakey, who wanted to take him in his band The Jazz Messengers, because he was still going to school.
While Roy Hargrove grossed in the first half of the 90s his first five albums under his own name, he also made a number of recordings on the side of old and new masters of jazz such as Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean, Frank Morgan, Slide Hampton, Johnny Griffin, Ricky Ford, Ralph Moore, Antonio Hart, Stephen Scott, Rodney Kendrick and Marc Cary. And soon there were first indications that it the corset of "Young Lion" was a little too tight. On plates of Diana Ross, Steve Coleman The Five Elements and Buck LeFonque (a.k.a. Branford Marsalis) stretched Hargrove feelers in new musical directions.
On his own albums, he remained first but the more traditional jazz faithful. In 1993 Hargrove to Verve Records and took for the legendary label the brilliant albums "With The Tenors Of Our Time" (1993, inter alia, Johnny Griffin, Joe Henderson, Branford Marsalis, Joshua Redman and Stanley Turrentine), "Family" (1995 with a guest appearance by Wynton Marsalis), and together with two other young stars of the Verve label - pianist Stephen Scott and bassist Christian McBride - "Parker's Mood" (1996). An excellent side trip to Cubop which is documented on the album "Habana" (1997), followed in 1999 shot with strings ballad Opus "Moment To Moment" (1999), the a naturally immediately in 1955 resulting album "Clifford Brown With Strings "recalled.
Then Roy Hargrove put his solo career for four years on ice to get involved in musical projects of other artists: He played on two albums by the rapper common with, accompanied the NeoSoul diva Erykah Badu, who he knew from his high school, and the singer D'Angelo. As a partner of Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker, he also took 2002 Verve the draw out tete with two Grammys album "Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall" in a tribute to Miles Davis and John Coltrane.
When Roy Hargrove 2003 finally reported back with its own project, Surprised he the jazz world that had hardly noticed his previous musical escapades with Common, Erykah Badu and D'Angelo: Because on the album "Hard Groove" He presented with an ensemble called RH Factor a highly exciting fusion of Neo Soul, hip hop and jazz. In 2004 he was with RH Factor nor the EP "Strength" and followed in 2006 by the album "Distractions". Guests looked at the three recordings that were praised in jazz circles this exuberant, among others NeoSoul stars and rappers like Common, Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Renee Neufville, Meshell Ndegeocello, Stephanie McKay, Q-Tip and Omar.
Parallel to the last album of RH Factor published Roy Hargrove, however, a new board, which he had recorded with his acoustic quintet and special guest Slide Hampton and marked his return to the flawless Jazz: "Nothing Serious". After a reshuffle of the quintet of trumpeter took the 2008 released album "Earfood", on which he devoted himself to the care of the hard bop heritage. Although he here occasionally memories of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, which arouses Horace Silver Quintet and the early quintet of Herbie Hancock with Freddie Hubbard and Dexter Gordon, falls Hargrove, of course not completely rejuvenated in the 50s and 60s back, but modernized the Hard -BOP idiom subtly.
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