Search - Roy Hargrove, the Rh Factor :: Hard Groove

Hard Groove
Roy Hargrove, the Rh Factor
Hard Groove
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

Most jazz-meets-hip-hop collaborations suffer from stiff beats plastered over abstract, high-minded solos. Not so with this collection from the '70s-bred, Texan-born trumpet wunderkind. Sure, he knows the musical language ...  more »


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All Artists: Roy Hargrove, the Rh Factor
Title: Hard Groove
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Verve
Original Release Date: 1/1/2003
Re-Release Date: 5/20/2003
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
Styles: Bebop, Pop Rap
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 044006519227

Most jazz-meets-hip-hop collaborations suffer from stiff beats plastered over abstract, high-minded solos. Not so with this collection from the '70s-bred, Texan-born trumpet wunderkind. Sure, he knows the musical language and lineages of Clifford Brown and Miles Davis. But he's also down with contemporaries like D'Angelo, Q-Tip, and homegirl Erykah Badu, who appear on this star-studded CD. Hargrove is backed by an in-the-pocket assemblage of jazz-honed phenoms featuring keyboardist Marc Cary, alto saxophonist Steve Coleman, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, and flautist Karl Denson. They all put their grooves where their guts are, and the music evokes tinges of Donald Byrd's back-in-the-day waxworks. D'Angelo's down-home delivery lights up Funkadelic's psychedelic slow drag, "I'll Stay," while ebullient Common kicks up the verbal virtuosity on "Common Free Style." The Q-Tip/Erykah Badu cut "Poetry" could be a summer anthem. Throughout this tasty and tasteful project Roy Hargroove's cool and clarion trumpet tones provide the right sonic seasoning for this dancing and delectable disc. --Eugene Holley, Jr.

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CD Reviews

An Enjoyable Find
Willie Hobbs | the dirty-dirty | 04/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Should there be a time in the near future that you'd find yourself at my crib for a laid back get-together, where there is a steady buzz of convo, and everybody has settled into their positions of bartender, jokester, flirt, comedian. . .
A jazzy CD will be sparkling in the background, making the whole damn thang seem more sophisticated than it really is.

It's owner is playing it halfway to see if you're too caught in the matrix of work, sleep and bowel movements to recognize any of it. The other reason would be, simply, that Roy Hargrove's RH Factor is the mid-twenty to thirty-something's legit entrée into soulful jazz, so those for a taste of the melodic diaherrea that is Kenny G or that Bath & Bodyworks talcum-powder jazz from Yanni need not apply. Roy ain't havin' it, and I ain't either. Jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove has been a sideman for the likes of Erykah Badu and D'angelo. On the solo tip, he's amassed a solid series of albums that do justice to everything from traditional and contemporary jazz to Latin rhythms. As with the other previous outings, the R to the H flexes his connections with more all-star collabos than an over-produced rapper that can't come up with enough flow or material to do an album on their own two. Ah, but Hargrove does the combos justice, rarely missing.

"Hardgroove" is the ideal intro cut to reacquaint you to live instrumentation. It has the suave atmosphere of urban sophistication throughout. It along with "The Joint" eventually loosens its tie and kicks up the heat. This will be the point that you'll pause your conversation with whomever to try and catch everywhere the groove is going.

Another stepper is the boppy and playful "Pastor T." It's reminiscent of the Paisley Park jazz group Madhouse sans the ersatz moans and sensual whispers. Keith Anderson's saxophone solo makes a home out of the ebullient mood.

The funk is so deep on the mellow P-funk inspired "I'll Stay" that you will check your armpits after each verse. D'Angelo is channeling Al Green on the vocals, getting' his milk-mouth mumble on somethin' lovely and actin' a damn fool on the Wurlitzer. I'm tellin' you, you'll want to get a black leather trenchcoat and walk in the rain with a cigarette in the middle of the night with this one. "Kwah/Home" sets Michelle Ndegeocello to bumpin' it easy on bass while Anthony Hamilton lays on catfish-and-grits- flavored vocals of soul, mustard and hot sauce included.

Poetry, featuring Q-Tip sounds like something the Tribe Called Quest would have eventually done with its loungy-red velvet sofa feel. Just before your mind falls back completely into the calming fabric of the jam, the melody changes into a melancholy, almost Charlie Brown-Peanuts-like melody with Erykah Badu crooning of the pain we all experience in trying "the way to go."

There are weak spots though, such as the uninspired, absent-minded-sounding rap of FAMU's own Common on "Common Free Style." We gotta support our own, but dude sounded like he was trying to rap with a migraine and a flashlight shining dead in his eyes. "Forget Regret" takes the subdued vibe Common leaves and strikes a nerve with Bobby Sparks' squirrely B3 organ and the confident vocal silk of newcomer Stephanie McKay. "How I Know" comes in as a close second in this regard. The unhurried, slow-drag-friendly "Liquid Streets" soothes with a piano part by James Poyser reminiscent of Pieces of a Dream. Hargrove also shines with his trumpet work here as well. All in all, a fine musician, and album, to grow the hell up and be stylish to."
Jazz with a Hip Hop Touch
Zeb91 | Seattle, WA | 01/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Hip Hop has always been connected to Jazz, weather it was Tribe back in the early nineties, Madlib today or any other producer you can think of chances are they have used some Jazz at some point in their career. Well with this album you get a traditional Jazz trumpeter composing and arranging a straight up Jazz album with a taste of that Hip Hop spirit. Weather it's the "Common Freestyle" or Q-Tip on "Poetry" this Jazz album has just the right amount of Hip Hop to please B-Boys along with the real Jazz fans. Those are just the two tracks with emcees on them. Several other tracks stand out with some great singers performing. The epic "I'll Stay" makes you wonder where D'Angelo has been and on "Forget Regret" Stephanie McKay makes you want to find her solo CD and hope that the RH Factor backs it. This album is an impressive mix of Jazz with Hip Hop and if you are a Hip Hop head looking for an introduction to Jazz then this is the album for you. If you are a Jazz fan that has always been disgusted with Hip Hop's connection with Jazz hopefully this will show you what its all about: Good Music."
"R"ight "H"ook Hits "R"eal "H"ard
Orion | Everywhere | 02/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first heard this album in Bahia Brazil and everybody was vibing it. It was magic. A pure connect! Big up's to Mr. Hargrove for pulling this/us together/up. A few years ago, I checked out Roy, Marc Cary, Steve Coleman, Jacques Schwarz-Bart and Daniel Moreno at an underground party in NY where they use to jam and it was on fire. His RH Factor is so hot its smoke is definitely sanctified!