Roy Hargrove

I saw an absolutely amazing concert by Roy Hargrove, jazz legend, at the new jazz club, IRIS. The venue was really nice and it was pleasing to see a new place just for jazz listening, even if their musical lineup tends to lean a little towards the smooth. Roy Hargrove and his band just blew the roof off. His large jam group was comprised up two drum sets, an organist, keyboard player (Robert Glasper, HSPVA grad), guitar, bass, vocalist (who was excellent), and two sax players (on alto and tenor was Keith Anderson). The grooves were hard and the music was incredibly energetic. One thing I really enjoyed was how the band built solos, starting it chill and then taking it to a very high level, with the crowd in hysterics. It was very well put together show, and you could tell the musicians had their act together.

I got to talk to Robert for a while and he is a very interesting cat. We talked a bit about piano players, and he suggested I check out more Lenny Tristano, Ahmad Jamal, and Keith Jarrett. He told me a bit about some of the musicians he has played with in New York, which included pretty much every big name I’ve heard of, including Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett . . . We talked about his sense of time, which I’ve heard stories about from David a bit. In his trio instead of feeling a beat or measure, he can feel a section, be it eight bars or thirty-two. It allows the music to move in different directions, but still land right. This is really unique and I’d like to hear more of his playing so I could get a better sense of it. He has a new album on its way so I’ll definitely want to check that out. He also gave an interesting perspective on the “Jazz died with Trane” argument: he said that because people Trane did so much and were at such a high level, musicians put them on a pedestal and say to themselves that they’ll never be that good. This mental block actually prevents musicians from advancing because they already have this limit of how far things can go, a pre-conceived idea of that the highest level is. Of course things can always be taken higher, but it takes someone with a lot of guts and talent to do it. I think that Branford doing A Love Supreme (arguably best Coltrane recording ever) on his latest album is a good example of people with a respect and understanding of the past, but still trying to take things to a different level. Jazz shouldn’t move horizontally, it should be moving forward. Look at how much changed from 1940-1960 in jazz, now look back two decades and think of what has really blown you away. Let me know what you think. I know I’ll be thinking about it a lot.

Update: The pictures from tonight are now online.Keith Anderson, Roy Hargrove, Robert Glasper, Matthew Mullenweg, Sarah Williams

10 replies on “Roy Hargrove”

  1. hey matt, thank you so much for coming with me, i really had an AWESOME night! (who had a good idea? haha). that performance was SO AMAZING.

  2. HEY!! good morning. I am the vocalist from Roy Hargroves Rh Factor..thank you for the wonderful commentary. i dont have Rob Glaspers info but I will send him to your site!! take care and have a happy thanksgiving!!

    R. Neufville

  3. I live in Australia and just wanted to say how envious i am that u got to see Roy Hargrove LIVE. That kind of chance wouldnt come around too offen for me. I just stumbled on your site looking for Roy photos and stuff. Keep up the good work.

    p.s Do you know Cats from RH Factor or something? Email me if ya want. Im curious.

  4. I saw Hargrove and the Rh Factor in La Spezia (Italy) last summer. Then I saw them in Brescia now I have arranged a journey to listen to them in Monte-Carlo the 13th of April 2004.
    I have no others words, my poor english can’t describe how I love them.
    I’m looking forward to listening to Bobby Spark, K. Anderson and the beautiful voice of Renee…
    Thank you for the space…

  5. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE ROY HARGROVE! BELIEVE IT OR NOT; I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO HIS MUSIC SINCE I WAS 3 YEARS OLD(YES, I’M 16 “THE VIBE” CAME OUT IN 1990.) HE’S EXCELLANT! THE RH FACTOR WAS BRILLIANT; I’M EXCITED FOR HIS DECISION TO MIX ALL JONRAHS, THE RESULT WAS PURE EXCELLENCE; KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK.

  6. oh my word – roy has THE most gorgeous smile ever. and all i have to say is he lookkkkkkkkkks exactly like a lion too.

    congrats renee on your wild world tour w. rh factor – caught you all at the apollo, nyc.
    when is the live album release? (i need it, ok)
    or new rh factor recording? (would be nice, thanks)
    or is roy dipping back into pure acoustic work? (frighteningly expressive, can’t imagine)

  7. Hey i notice im a lil behind on the msg board but i absolutley love everything done on the RH factor CD’s (strenght and hardgrove) it inspired me to get much deeper into my trumpet playing and i even played around with a delay pedal and a muti-effects board. I was just wondering if anyone knows if Roy and his band are gonna be doing more touring or are they chillin in the studio for now. Id love to see them back up here in the canada (halifax specificaly:) ) any way if you guys want another smooth trumpeter then check out chris botti. (he’s no Roy but he’s pretty good)
    Thanks for the Space and if anyone has anyway to get in contact with Roy or any of his band members via email i would love to know.
    Thanks again

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