The American trumpeter, who has died aged 49, influenced a new generation of jazz artists with his soul and funk fusion
At his final UK performance, at London’s Jazz Café on 9 October, I watched trumpeter Roy Hargrove play with his characteristic bebop intensity and sultry swing. He packed his five-piece band on to the stage and cruised through the funkier numbers from his fusion project, the RH Factor, as well as the straightahead jazz of his more recent work on Earfood, from 2008. There was no sign Hargrove was unwell; his death, on 2 November, was caused by cardiac arrest due to kidney disease.
Hargrove performed in his trademark suit and shades, the snappy dress code that added to his charm as an instrumentalist. His playing was slick, rarely exhibitionist and never individualistic. Seldom taking the microphone, except to thank the crowd for their support – his yearly sold-out performances at the Jazz Café were something of a residency – he let his instrument do the talking. The performance cemented his status as one of the great trumpeters of his generation.Continue reading...
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