Roy Hargrove: Strasbourg / St. Denis
Strasbourg / St. Denis
Roy Hargrove (trumpet)
Earfood (EmArcy B0010997-02)
Roy Hargrove (trumpet),
Justin Robinson (alto sax), Gerald Clayton (piano), Danton Boller (bass), Montez Coleman (drums).
Composed by Roy Hargrove.
Recorded: Los Angeles, CA, September 19-21, 2007
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Introduced by Danton Boller's bass groove, "Strasbourg/St. Denis" is a refreshingly simple but catchy track. After a head that consists of a bouncy, staccato melody and some interplay between Hargrove and altoist Justin Robinson, Gerald Clayton takes control with a funk-inspired piano solo. Clayton starts simple and grabs the listener's ears with just a few notes, at times sitting on one note and reaching into the piano to mute its strings. Pushed by the solid groove laid by Boller and Montez Coleman, Clayton builds his solo and passes the torch to Hargrove, who brings the energy back down again.
Each soloist offers a unique take on the funky feel of "Strasbourg/St. Denis," and the rhythm section's accompaniment helps make each solo entirely different from the last. Hargrove delivers a series of short but meaningful statements that are a testament to the importance of tasteful phrasing and rhythmic variance. Robinson offers a truly exciting interpretation that is punctuated by a very impressive triplet figure by Coleman as the quintet moves back to the head. Not only is the playing superb, "Strasbourg/St. Denis" is an innovative composition that proves a tune does not need to be a lesson in music theory to be memorable.
Reviewer: Greg Marchand