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Roy Hargrove: Nothing Serious

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Roy Hargrove

The latest works from trumpeter Roy Hargrove, Nothing Serious and Distractions, do not attempt to bridge the gap between the brilliant straightahead jazz he played for most of his career and the soul, funk and hip-hop grooves that his RH Factor laid down on his last two albums. Instead, Nothing Serious, from his quintet, and Distractions, featuring his Factor, just split the two sides of Hargrove right down the middle. Yet both discs feature inventive and infectious music.

The RH Factor disc actually features tracks titled “Distractions,” which must make the quintet the reflective group. Nonetheless, you can hear some of what makes Hargrove an enthusiastic groover in his quintet playing and compositions: the easy way he rides a catchy rhythmic hiccup on “The Gift,” for example, or the insistent swing of his quiet yet assertive solo on “Trust.” You can also hear a bunch of excellent straight-up jazz playing, like the sprays of notes he unleashes on Leo Quintero’s “Nothing Serious” and his creative leaps around the angular chords he wrote for “Camaraderie.”

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