Roy Hargrove and The RH Factor
Roy Hargove – trumpet and flugelhorn
Willie Jones III – drums
Jason Thomas – drums
Reggie Washington – bass and vocals
“Spanky” Chalmers Alford – guitar
Bobby Sparks – organ, rhodes, clavinet, and synthesizers
Jacques Schwartz-Bart – tenor/soprano saxophones
Keith Anderson – tenor/alto saxophones
Renee Neufville – vocals and keyboards
“The funk was so strong that I am sure it shook the trains passing by.”
That’s the only way to describe it. It is not uncommon to hear a train passing by Yoshi’s since the tracks are right outside but not this night. I am sure the trains had to stop and take notice of the funk up in here. Trumpeter Roy Hargrove and The RH Factor rolled onstage with a mighty thunder and a hard groove that blew the roof off the place. It may have been a little too much funk for this intimate venue but it was a great show. Roy was like Noah and his Ark in that he had two keyboardists, saxophonists, drummers, and guitarists. There was even an upright bass leaning on the wall just waiting to be a part of the groove. They played hard soulful/jazzy grooves from his latest release, Hard Groove. In addition to Roy keeping it hot on trumpet and flugelhorn, Jacques Schwartz-Bart and Keith Anderson were keeping the groove with their sax solos, Renee Neufville, formerly of the singing group Zhané, provided keyboards and sexy, sultry vocals on “How I Know” and “Juicy“, Reggie Washington and “Spanky” Chalmers Alford laid down the rhythm on the bass and electric guitars, respectively, and Willie Jones III and Jason Thomas brought on the noise with their magical beats on the drums but the musician that blew the crowd away was Bobby Sparks on the keyboards with every funk sound imaginable. His arsenal of funk included a Korg, a Fender Rhodes, a Hammond B3 organ, a Hohner Clavinet D6, and a special funk machine that had dials to guide the groove to wherever he wanted to take it. It was very similar to the minimoog shown above or an arp. Nevertheless, he kept the funk strong.
Roy reminds you a bit of the trumpeters of the past in his stage presence and soulful deliverance. It would be easy to compare him to Miles in the way he has carved out his own niche and sound but Roy is definitely unique. He is one of the premiere trumpeters of the day and has recorded with some of the best in jazz. His groove definitely comes from deep within his soul, bringing forth a mixture of jazz, ole soul, new soul, hip-hop, and pure funk. It can only be described by the way it was chanted, “hard groove, hard groove, hard groove!” You definitely want to catch this groove when it comes your way.