Earfood

Waco-born trumpeter Roy Hargrove began recording as a bandleader back in 1990, though as a sideman his forceful yet crystalline tones had caught jazz fans’ ears even earlier. When he signed with Verve Records, in 1993, he became a bit of a dabbler: He did an all-star tenor saxophone project here, a Charlie Parker tribute there, sessions with strings, some soul/funk with the RH Factor band, even a Grammy-winning venture into Cuban music. Though eminently listenable, these were all characterized by a certain restraint. In his role as a chameleon, Hargrove never found the ease he’d had blowing it out in a club. Nothing Serious , in 2006, put him back in a straight jazz setting, but Earfood (Emarcy) goes one step further, landing him in the studio with his working quintet and capturing a fiery, sonically powerful, spontaneous feel. A few of his originals seem to meander, and the set is too ballad-heavy, but as Hargrove and band step forward on “I’m Not So Sure,” “Mr. Clean,” and a live version of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me,” they lose all semblance of understatement, settle in, and show us how it’s done.

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...

Most Read

  • Viewed
  • Past:
  • 1 week