Roy Hargrove Quintet and the RH Factor

Record review

Texas Platters

Roy Hargrove

Nothing Serious (Verve)

The RH Factor

Distractions (Verve)

Roy Hargrove keeps his ear to the street. Even as the Waco-born, Dallas-bred trumpeter has released a successful string of straight-up, hard-bop LPs, he's also recorded with Erykah Badu and D'Angelo and toured through Austin frequently with a deliciously funky quintet. In this light, it's no surprise Hargrove has released two albums simultaneously: Nothing Serious, a no-frills, in-the-pocket, mainstream affair, and Distractions, an up-to-the-minute groove excursion with his R&B/hip-hop/jazz collective, RH Factor. The former finds Hargrove's standard quintet tight and frisky after four years on the road. The 36-year-old leader demonstrates why he's among the most accomplished musicians of his generation, whether firing off flurries of blue notes or gently caressing a melody on his buttery flügelhorn. Not to be outdone, alto saxman Justin Robinson conjures up the serpentine sound of the wickedly dexterous Eric Dolphy. Underrated piano veteran Ronnie Matthews sparkles throughout, while statesman trombonist Slide Hampton guests on three tracks. No surprises here, and at a compact 45 minutes, there's nothing superfluous either on this finely crafted date. Back on the street, Hargrove lends his jazz chops to the easy groovin' beat-fest of RH Factor's Distractions. Showcasing how naturally these styles coalesce in the right hands, the trumpeter blends effortlessly into the stew, be it a sultry R&B ballad, a George Clintonian rave, or a D'Angelo-produced scratch 'n' beat mix. Any way you slice this one, it's party time, and Roy Hargrove is havin' a blast.

(Both) ***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
The Young Mothers
Morose (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Sept. 7, 2018

Texas Platters
Zack Varner
Blues in the Nude (Record Review)

Jeremy Steinberger, Aug. 24, 2018

More by Jay Trachtenberg
Review: <i>Lake Success</i>
Review: Lake Success
Gary Shteyngart's novel takes a witty bite out of the 0.01%

Sept. 13, 2018

<i>Presidio</i> by Randy Kennedy
Presidio by Randy Kennedy
For his debut novel, Kennedy creates a road story that portrays the harsh West Texas terrain beautifully and fills it with sympathetic characters.

Sept. 14, 2018

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle