I heard of Roy Hargrove in brief dispatches in the past. Chanced on his music or collaborations without paying much attention. He died suddenly, and his demise flooded my timeline, and I had to acquaint myself with his albums. The man was so busy that his discography was packed. I felt ashamed for coming late to the party.
The two albums of his that I spent a considerable time immersing myself in were With the Tenors of Our Time and Earfood with the latter being one of his later works (released in 2008), the former was released much earlier 1994, and this turned out to be my favourite. While Roy was a versatile trumpeter and played various subgenres of jazz and was even comfortable outside the confines of jazz (He played as a sideman for even pop artists), it is his 1994 album – With the Tenors of Our Time that got me hooked.
With the Tenors of Our Time is a captivating hard bop album that in which Roy works severally with different great tenor horns men including Branford Marsalis, and Stanley Turrentine. My favourite track in the album is Soppin’ the Biscuit. A groovy jam that features Stanley Turrentine on tenor sax in full flow. Roy Hargrove holds his own admirably, and while the song attempts to soar away, towards the end Roy mellows it expertly with his soulful notes and the blend is truly breath-taking.
Soppin’ the Biscuit is a current favourite of mine and each time I enjoy the soulful sound inherent in that jam, I celebrate the formidable talent that was Roy Hargrove. Rest easy Roy!