The quintet led by trumpeter Roy Hargrove is one of the finest hard-bop jazz bands on the road today. In recording sessions, Hargrove is not adverse to experimentation: He's worked in all sorts of group configurations, from trios to big bands. He's melded hip-hop with jazz in his RH Factor releases. He's delved deeply into Latin music, and has accompanied everybody from Shirley Horn to Erykah Badu. But when he's on the road touring with his quintet, he's treating audiences to some of the greatest, hardest-swinging bebop in the world.
During a recent visit to Seattle, Hargrove brought the whole band to the KPLU/Jazz24 performance studio for a session with jazz host Abe Beeson. Hargrove talks about his youth in Texas, his musical maturation in the jazz scenes of Boston and New York, and why the music he plays on stage is so important to him and his audiences. Along the way, the group digs into Donald Byrd's "Low Life," followed by "For Tamisha," a lovely ballad written by the group's bassist, Ameen Saleem. To wrap up the session, Hargrove performs one of his own compositions, a work in progress that he's currently calling "Soulful."