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From the WBGO Archives: Highlights From a Spirited Roy Hargrove Big Band Performance

Trumpeter and composer Roy Hargrove, who died in 2018 at 49,  is best known for his unflappable command in small-group settings, including his sterling quintet. But he was also a connoisseur of the big band — leading his own, on and off, through most of his career.

The Roy Hargrove Big Band released a single album, Emergence, in 2009. Around the time of the album’s release, he brought the 18-piece ensemble to WBGO for a session on Afternoon Jazz. Highlights from that session were later featured on The Checkout, then hosted by Josh Jackson.

Beginning with “Roy Allan,” a blaring, groove-fortified piece named after Hargrove’s father, the set moves into an original ballad titled “Trust.” Then Jon Batiste plays the elaborative piano introduction to “Mambo For Roy,” a Chucho Valdés composition originally featured on the album Habana. And this selection of excerpts concludes with a Hargrove original, “Tschpiso.”


Roy Hargrove: conductor, trumpet, flugelhorn

Frank Greene: trumpet
Greg Gisbert: trumpet
Tanya Darby: trumpet
Darren Barrett: trumpet

Jason Jackson: trombone
Vincent Chandler: trombone
Michael Dease: trombone
Max Seigel: bass trombone

Bruce Williams: alto saxophone and flute
Justin Robinson: alto saxophone and flute
Norbert Stachel: tenor saxophone and flute
Keith Loftis: tenor saxophone and flute
Jason Marshall: baritone saxophone and flute

Jonathan Batiste: piano
Ameen Saleem: bass
Montez Coleman: drums
Saul Rubin: guitar

David Tallacksen: Music Mix

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A veteran jazz critic and award-winning author, and a regular contributor to NPR Music.