Another Groove: Roy Hargrove & Mulgrew Miller Play the “Blues for Mr. Hill”

Album cover courtesy of Resonance Records

May 22, 2021 — Welcome back to Another Groove, our series dedicated to new music that is neither pure soul nor R&B but which contains elements of those genres and may please your ears. This week we feature the track “Blues for Mr. Hill,” an advance single off the upcoming album In Harmony (Resonance Records) featuring trumpeter Roy Hargrove and pianist Mulgrew Miller

May 22, 2021 — Welcome back to Another Groove, our series dedicated to new music that is neither pure soul nor R&B but which contains elements of those genres and may please your ears. This week we feature the track “Blues for Mr. Hill,” an advance single off the upcoming album In Harmony (Resonance Records) featuring trumpeter Roy Hargrove and pianist Mulgrew Miller

These late, great giants of jazz need little introduction. Hargrove, an acclaimed “Young Lion” and 2-time Grammy winner, was one of the premier trumpet players of his generation. He had a special gift for melody and composition and a penchant for exciting, genre-crossing collaboration with R&B, soul and hip hop artists. No one played a ballad like Hargrove, and his tone on the flugelhorn was one of the most soulful sounds in music. Miller, who began his professional career in the Duke Ellington Orchestra, quickly became a go-to pianist for other eminent jazz artists like Art Blakey and Woody Shaw in addition to leading his own ensembles. Miller also guested on occasion in Hargrove’s quintet and was Director of Jazz Studies at William Patterson University.

Our featured track, a Hargrove original composition recorded live in 2007, finds both musicians in their prime and firing on all cylinders. Anchored by Miller’s blues progression, the track slowly unfolds as the artists give us a master class in the art of improvisation. And they do so in perfect harmony: Hargrove’s muscular yet mellifluous runs, which hint at his Texas roots, are balanced gracefully by Miller’s expressive chord voicings and gifted use of dynamics. Simply put, their performance is one for the ages. Enjoy.

By Robb Patryk

 

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