Roy Hargrove Quintet | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Roy Hargrove Quintet

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Only 35 years old but already a 15-year veteran of the music biz, trumpeter Roy Hargrove's earned favorable comparisons to some of jazz's most legendary figures. Among them is Wynton Marsalis, who discovered him at a high-school music workshop, but Hargrove's playing has more soul and less clutter than his early champion's; like trumpet gods Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard in their Blue Note days, he builds momentum in his solos through the logic of pure melodic development rather than flashy flutters or histrionic ornamentation. He's a beautiful musician, and he's remained a curious and bold one. Hargrove's projects in recent years include the Cuban big band Crisol and the RH Factor, a spectacular fusion of jazz, rock, and hip-hop modeled after (and comparing favorably to) Miles Davis's electric bands of the 80s. For this engagement, however, Hargrove returns with his jazz quintet, an unadorned setting which fits his improvisatorial power like a racing glove and allows him to engage in some tight competition with his bandmates: drummer Willie Jones III, bassist Dwayne Burno, Ronnie Matthews, an alumnus of bands led by Art Blakey and Dexter Gordon in the 60s and 70s, on piano, and Justin Robinson, an often spectacular alto saxist. Tuesday 11/23, 8 and 10 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand, 312-670-2473, $25. The engagement runs through November 27; see Wednesday and Thursday for other showtimes this week.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Jackson.

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