||Roy Hargrove presents The RH Factor
This summer Verve really comes up with the good releases. After the brilliant Lizz Wright debut album Salt we get another fine album in the shape of Roy Hargrove's RH Factor.
Hard Groove is a good, soulful and funky album that's something like an all-star affair and features illustrious guest-muscians like Erykah Badu (on Poetry), D'Angelo (on I'll Stay), Q-Tip (on Poetry) or Common (on Common Free Style). And it has the right mix of vocal and instrumental songs to please both jazz and soul music fans. The cover of Funkadelic's I'll Stay for example is reminiscent of soul music halcyon days of the 70ies (listening to the first notes Luther Ingram's If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don't Wanna Be Right) sprung to my mind) and with D'Angelo on Wurlitzer and vocals this is just nearly 8 minutes of music heaven.
Forget Regret features Stephanie McKay from the Brooklyn Funk Essentials on vocals and is a fine modern soul song. Also good to hear Anthony Hamilton is still in the music biz, although his debut album for MCA never saw the light of the day, on Hard Groove he's singing on Kwah/Home that also features Meshell Ndegeocello on bass.
Shelby Johnson is another singer whose voice graces the very good midtempo soul of How I Know.
Ever wondered what has become of Zhané? Well, I don't know it either, but one half of this female duo, Renee Neufville, can be heard on the brilliant midtempo groover Juicy.
Oh, and of course there's Roy Hargrove on every track playing his trumpet, flugelhorn, keys, percussion or piano.
All in all Hard Groove is a very good album with a organic and warm instrumentation and the right balance of retro influences and what's hip today...and it just fits perfect to the beginning summer here in Europe.
(for more information visit royhargrove.com and vervemusicgroup.com)