Diamond In The Rough

Roy Hargrove

Diamond In The Rough

Diamond In The Rough

Roy Hargrove, trumpet; Ralph Moore, tenor sax;
Geoff Keezer, piano; Charles Fambrough, bass;
Ralph Peterson, drums.

1. Proclamation (Keezer) 6:06
2. Broski (Fambrough) 4:14
3. All Over Again (Hargrove) 5:44
4. Premonition (Keezer) 5:34
5. BHG (Keezer) 5:57

Roy Hargrove, trumpet; Antonio Hart, alto sax;
John Hicks, piano; Scott Colley, bass;
Al Foster, drums.

6. Ruby My Dear (Monk) 6:17
7. A New Joy (Hargrove) 6:00
8. Confidentiality (Hargrove) 4:58
9. Whisper Not (Golson) 7:31
10. Easy To Remember (Rodgers) 6:17
11. Wee (Best) 4:16
Cover Photo by STEVE PREZANT
Cover Design by RIA LEWERKE
Recording by JACK ADELMAN
Recorded January, 1990

It's about 2:30 in the morning as George Coleman leads a trio into the late set at Bradley's, New York's ultimate jazz intimacy. Long admired as one of the most forceful, yet lyrical, of contemporary tenor saxophonists, George is a favorite here. He has established the groundwork for a mid-tempo piece and is just finishing his first solo.

From the back of the dark wood-paneled room, a smallish young man walks slowly but purposefully towards the bandstand. He sports a comfortably cut charcoal overcoat, a stingy brimmed porkpie hat, and a shining silver trumpet, already held to his mouth. There is a slight bounce to his step and he leans forward a bit as he moves. Though relaxed, there is a devilish intensity to his manner. He wants to play. He has something to say.

Roy Hargrove enters with a cluster of clear, strong, warm notes that perforate the already thick musical air. They are not shrill, but they penetrate. There is something immediately startling about his sound: though his playing bespeaks a genuine self-assurance, it carries a melancholy and, overall, there is a heartfulness and a depth of sentiment that offset what otherwise might be a brash cockiness.

Realizing, perhaps, the proper relationship between discretion and valor, Roy plants his feet firmly upon his own ground. He slows the tempo down and restates the tune's basic melodic message. His notes carry a deeply Blues-inflected sweetness and stand as their own brave statement against the musical colossus that George has constructed. The scene finds its resolution in an enormous smile that lifts George's face above the gooseneck of his horn as he stares in full delight at this man half his size and less than half his age.

During the past two years that Roy has frequented the New York jazz scene, variously sitting in and jamming at up to four different locations in one night, there is a single sailent quality that emerges: Roy seeks challenges. He puts himself into risky spots and delights in battling his way out with his horn wailing.

With the release of Diamond in the Rough, Roy Hargrove's first record as a leader, a certain threshold is crossed. Up to this point Roy has come to have a presence in the jazz world primarily as a live performer--most commonly as an unbilled figure who has appeared with ever increasing frequency, sitting in and jamming in a wide variety of settings, both here in New York and abroad. From this point Roy's largest audience will be composed of people who know him only from recordings.

With all this talent and energy it is indeed time that this rough jewel tender his recorded calling card before a wider audience.

--DALE FITZGERALD, from the liner notes.

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