Remembering Roy Hargrove (1969 – 2018)

A poetic tribute to the late trumpeter by friend and jazz radio DJ Monifa Brown

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Roy Hargrove (left) and Monifa Brown, late 1990s (photo courtesy of Monifa Brown)

Like many in the jazz community, Monifa Brown was deeply saddened by the death of Roy Hargrove on Nov. 2 at age 49. In the days following the trumpeter’s passing, Brown—who has hosted the “Saturday Afternoon Jazz” program on Newark, N.J.’s WBGO for more than 20 years—felt moved to write the following words of tribute, which JazzTimes is honored to share here.—Mac Randall

Sweet Roy
Casting eternal joy
Trumpet elations, euphoric sensations
The Vibe
We were blessed to be on the ride
Man, you took us on some trips with your life affirming riffs
Splendiferous lines replaying in our minds
Boppin’ and giving us lift
You are a Gift
Your Emergence on the scene was like a dream
Hargrove Hittin’ with a Hard Groove
Puttin’ us in the perfect mood
Laid back with the right attack
Past, present and future converging
Soul and grit
Sophistication and wit
Grace and fire
An old soul whose song will never tire
The world was your place
You carved your space
A flow uniquely yours
Your soul I did adore
Your laughter in my head forever
A smile I’ll forget never
Memories of late night hangs
Talkin’, dreamin’, singin’, schemin’
Just kids
Sneaking around the Vanguard
Up all night at Bradley’s
You taught me about Soppin’ The Biscuit
Yeah, I can dig it…
Coming of age
Those were the days
Sweet Roy
Gentle open spirit
So glad I had a chance to be near it
Your exit all too soon
Feels like the middle of a tune…
How I wish we had more moons
So much left for so many of us to say
It will have to wait for another day
We’ll uplift your memory together
You’re in our hearts forever

© Monifa Brown