Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Jazz, Hip Hop, and Funk blend in The RH Factor

Today I’d like to turn you onto another band that plays in perhaps my favorite style, the intersection of Hip Hop and Jazz. The RH Factor is a six piece, featuring vocals, trumpet, saxophones, keyboards, guitars, bass, and drums. Bandleader Roy Hargrove brings in a variety of five-star talent to help him out. Hargrove himself has played trumpet with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Wynton Marsalis and has been tapped recently by D’Angelo and Common for session work.

Hard Groove...  presumably a play on band leader Ray Hargrove's name

Hard Groove... presumably a play on band leader Ray Hargrove's name

These guys are an unbelievable groove factory. Every other song has me shaking my head in time to the music. They mix a fair amount of R&B and Funk in with their Hip Hop / Jazz. They’ve put out 3 releases but I haven’t gotten their 2006 release, Distractions, yet (an oversight). I could recommend every track on both releases I do have, but I’m just going to pull a few favorites. Check these and you’ll be looking into the rest of their catalog. First, three from their 2003 release, Hard Groove:

  • Common Free Style – Common is one of my favorite rappers and he’s backed on this track by delicate horns and bass bigger than space. This was clearly a lot of fun to record.
  • Poetry – I don’t have the liner notes for this disc, but the rapper can only be Q-Tip of Tribe Called Quest. Great R&B feel and Q-Tip’s smooth flow.
  • How I Know – Though Me’Shell Ndegeocello and Erykah Badu both appear on this album, it seems Shelby Johnson provides the beautiful vocals on this sweet love song.

Check out my favorite from their 2004 EP, Strength:

  • For Fun – This is a jazzier release throughout, but this one is actually a funkier tune with harmony vocals and handclaps behind the electric piano.

One of the benefits of writing a music blog about missed music is I often find out about releases from favorite artists that I missed when they were released. Ask me about Distractions next week.

http://www.royhargrove.com seems to be dead, but you can read all about him on his label, Verve.


May 18, 2009 - Posted by | Hip Hop, Jazz, R&B, Soul

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