Picks and Pans Review: Family
Thanks to his youthful vim and strong sense of tradition, Roy Hargrove, the ubiquitous 25-year-old trumpeter, has inched his way to the fore of this decade's jazz renaissance. On his seventh album, Family, the Texas turk cavorts with a hodgepodge of some of his musical inspirators—from his mentor Wynton Marsalis to the drummer Jimmy Cobb to lesser knowns like the pianist Ronnie Mathews. Hargrove is again in solid form, but he seems too eager to prove his maturity to the jazz establishment. Unlike his live performances, he never swings with a brassy abandon. Ironically, the highlights are not the soporific ballads played with the cast of thousands, but Hargrove's own handful of originals played with his regular quintet, which includes the pianist Stephen Scott. Scott's brilliantly off-kilter delivery is a compelling contrast to the bright, sonorous style of Hargrove—a contrast this record could use more of. (Verve)
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