Audio CD (May 17, 1994)
Original Release Date: May 17, 1994
Label: Polygram Records
Listen to sample
Soppin' The Biscuit
When We Were One
Shade Of Jade
Greens At The Chicken Shack
Never Let Me Go
Across The Pond
Wild Is Love
Roy Hargrove Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Ron Blake Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Cyrus Chestnut Piano
Rodney Whitaker Bass
Gregory Hutchinson Drums
Johnny Griffin Tenor Saxophone
Joe Henderson Tenor Saxophone
Branford Marsalis Tenor Saxophone
Joshua Redman Tenor Saxophone
Stanley Turrentine Tenor Saxophone
Roy Hargrove was born on October 16, 1969 in Waco, Texas. He manifested signs of musical aptitude as a young kid, and after borrowing an old Bundy cornet, was instructed from the elementary grades through junior high school by teacher Dean Hill. Hargrove soon became familiar with the recordings of Maynard Ferguson, Clifford Brown and Freddie Hubbard, and in the spring of 1987, he met the man who would galvanize his dreams of a professional career: trumpet superstar Wynton Marsalis.
When Marsalis made an unannounced visit to the Dallas Arts Magnet, Hargrove's school, he was so impressed by the young man's musical talents that he immediately arranged special studies for him. He also recommended the assistance of manager-producer Larry Clothier, and as a result Hargrove had the opportunity to travel to New York, and later to Europe and Japan. He soon became a member of the New York Jazz community, and under the supervision of Clothier started recording, as a sideman, with Bobby Watson, Ricky Ford and Carl Allen, as well as with Don Sickler's Superblue band.
After graduating from High School in June 1988, Roy spent the Summer in Europe, where he had the opportunity to play in several major Festivals, sharing the stage with musical luminaries as Clifford Jordan, Jerome Richardson or Tete Montoliu. In the fall he entered college at the Berklee School of Music on various scholarships, including one from Down Beat magazine, which had selected him as best jazz soloist of the year. In 1990 Roy moved to New York, where he enrolled in the New School's Jazz and Contemporary Music program.
The first recording -for RCA-Novus- of The Roy Hargrove Quintet (featuring altoist Antonio Hart), Diamond on the rough, appeared in 1990, and was followed by Public Eye in 1991. The summer of that year, Roy was featured at many European Festivals, fronting an all star package, The Jazz Futures.
The quintet's third recording, The Vibe, which appeared in the spring of 1992, was highly rated by critics all over the world, and the band toured again Europe, Japan and the US. In 1993 tenor saxophonist Ron Blake replaced Antonio Hart, and with Blake, Gary Bartz and trombonist André Hayward, Roy recorded his fourth -and last- album for RCA-Novus, ... Of kindred souls.
In 1993, before he was 25, Hargrove was already a major star in the world of contemporary Jazz, and was signed by Verve - Polygram, a label strongly committed to the promotion of young talent. For Verve Roy recorded The tenors of our time, an ambitious project featuring Johnny Griffin, Stanley Turrentine, Joe Henderson and Joshua Redman which appeared in 1994, Family (with David Newman as a special guest) and Parker's Mood (a collection of tunes associated with Charlie Parker), both published in 1995
In 1996, Roy's band appeared in La Habana's Jazz Festival, where they met pianist Chucho Valdes, of Irakere fame. Roy became fascinated with the talents of Cuban musicians, and decided to form a group featuring both Cuban percussionists, such as Anga, El Negro or Changuito, and African-American Jazz players such as Gary Bartz, Frank Lacy or Russell Malone. The group, known as Crisol (Spanish for melting pot) recorded live at the Orvieto (Italy) Jazz Festival, and the resulting CD, Habana, appeared in the market in 1997 with an imposing success. Crisol toured Europe in the Summer of 1997, and returned to Cuba in the fall of the same year. Habana won a Grammy Award in February 1998.
During the late 1990's Roy has also been leading The Roy Hargrove Big Band, a large group of young musicians he started out rehearsing a few years ago to work out his talents as a composer and arranger.
Source: International Jazz Productions
Though this album features jazz saxophonists Branford Marsalis, Stanley Turrentine, Joshua Redman, Joe Henderson, Ron Blake and Johnny Griffin, it's the craft of Hargrove's horn playing that truly makes this album work so well. The addition of these quality saxophonists only heightens the experience one has come to expect from a Roy Hargrove album. Moving from one piece to the other is silky, and the CD offers that "in-the-club" feel that doesn't always get translated in album performances. After having played the album numerous times, I still get a thrill from listening to it. "Shade of Jade" and "Soppin' the Biscuit" with their distinctive jazz combo feel contrast very well with "Across the Pond," and "When We Were One," which will make you want to slow dance with a partner. And the album is upbeat, though humble in its own way; the musicians are never brash or overbearing, but sonorous and musically aware of each other. "Once Forgotten" has become one of my favorites on this album for just that reason -- it blends the tone qualities of the instruments so well, that one rarely if ever gets the impression one musician is trying to outdo another or take the spotlight. In that respect this album is more than gracious, a pleasure for the ears and soul, attracting me to it each time I look at my CD rack.