Roy Hargrove Critic's Choice Member Picks Recommended Soundboard

When: Tue., Dec. 29, 8 & 10 p.m., Wed., Dec. 30, 8 & 10 p.m., Thu., Dec. 31, 9 & 11 p.m., Fri., Jan. 1, 8 & 10 p.m., Sat., Jan. 2, 8 & 10 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 3, 4, 8 & 10 p.m. 2010

For much of the past decade trumpeter Roy Hargrove has explored a variety of stylistic fusions: in his band Crisol, for instance, he played bracing Latin jazz, and in the RH Factor he dipped into funk and hip-hop. For the past couple of years, though, he's been reclaiming his roots in hard bop, and in the liner notes to his 2008 quintet record, Earfood, he made that pretty clear: "My goal in this project is to have a recording that is steeped in tradition and sophistication," he wrote, "while maintaining a sense of melodic simplicity." He maintains that devotion to the familiar pleasures of old-school jazz on this year's Emergence (Emarcy), the first recording by his long-running but only sporadically convened big band. Hargrove's lyrical, sanguine improvisations, which sound more thoughtful and patient than ever, are surrounded with exceedingly plush arrangements—the band's lineup is 19 strong. Much of the album has a strong retro vibe—the Count Basie oomph of the shuffle blues "Ms. Garvey, Ms. Garvey," the smoky ambience of "My Funny Valentine"—but Hargrove doesn't completely suppress his love for contemporary stuff, and at one point in his tune "Roy Allan" he drops in a musical quote from Grandmaster Flash's "The Message." On this trip he leads a sturdy quintet that includes dyed-in-the-wool bopper Justin Robinson on alto sax and flute and hard-swinging Montez Coleman on drums; rounding out the group are bassist Amin Saleem and pianist Sullivan Fortner, an upstart who's been turning heads with vibist Stefon Harris. This engagement runs through Sunday, January 3, and includes a $50 New Year's Eve show with sets at 9 and 11 PM. —Peter Margasak

Price: $20-$50

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