Story by James Walker, Jr., Photos by John Broughton, Jr.
World class trumpeter Roy Hargrove continues to support the Jazz Showcase with
his annual appearance at Joe and Wayne Segal's pristine jazz venue. While many
headliners have yet to grace this exquisite club with their appearance,
Hargrove drew capacity crowds night after night during his recent seven day
stint. This listener caught the final set at 10:15pm on Sunday night and the
place still had a nice size audience. Chicago loves Roy and the feelings appear
to be mutual.
Roy's exceptional band mates included drummer Montez Coleman, pianist Sullivan
Fortner, alto saxophonist Justin Robinson and bassist .
Hargrove is an "equal opportunity" employer as he routinely deferred to his
accomplished colleagues throughout this final 75 minute set.
Keyboardist Fortner when not soloing reminded this listener of Bill Evans of the
Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" era as he calmly provided subtle singular notes that
accompanied each of the soloist..Just hitting the proper key at the appropriate
Hargrove's side kick Robinson took center stage along side Roy and often taking
the lead on many of the selections. Throughout this set, the quintet primarily
expressed themselves through ballads and mid tempo selections. They appeared
to be on "cruise control", as it was their 15th set in seven days. Nevertheless,
this late night crowd appeared to be appreciative of this fine performance and
constantly responded with loud ovations.
The group concluded their successful engagement with an up tempo number that had
Hargrove blowing fast, bright trumpet flourishes with his signature bold
attack on each note. Roy's not one to "blow his chops out", but demonstrated he
still can "toot" with the best of them.
For detailed information about future Showcase events, refer to their website at
Editor note: James' review is of the Sunday concert on January 3rd, John's photos are from the Tuesday night concert on Dec. 29th. Roy finished his concert and went south to the New Apartment Lounge where Von Freeman was holding court over his weekly jam session. John Broughton caught all of the action as the old and young musicians jammed all night long.