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Roy Hargrove Keeps Big Band Tradition Alive with 'Emergence'

Roy Hargrove Keeps Big Band Tradition Alive with 'Emergence'

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Ellington, Basie, Gillespie … Hargrove? Jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove keeps the big band tradition alive with his new album, Emergence.

Roy Hargrove always dreamed of leading his own big band, a style he believes has fallen out of favor with aspiring jazz musicians.

"The sound is so rich and full, and it provides opportunity for congregation which is much-needed among today's younger musicians; most of whom have come of age in small group settings," he says.

Hargrove knows a thing or two about small group settings. From trios to septets, he has gained a reputation for shifting directions with each new outing, including mainstream jazz with his quintet; hip-hop, funk and soul with his group, RH Factor; a Grammy Award-winning Latin jazz album; jazz standards; and now, his first-ever big band album.

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Roy Hargrove is in good company with his latest effort, Emergence. In fact, he finds himself in the company of 19 top-notch musicians, many of them co-workers on previous studio sessions or tours. One such colleague is vocalist Roberta Gambarini, featured on the Cole Porter classic, "Everytime We Say Goodbye."

Recorded at Capitol Records' now-legendary Studio A in Hollywood, California, the album contains a handful of jazz standards plus four original works.

"There's nothing like the feeling you get when hearing your compositions and arrangements played by a 'wall of sound,'" Hargrove says.

On Emergence, The Roy Hargrove Big Band performs a tune dedicated to Hargrove's father, "Roy Allan."