ROY HARGROVE BIG BAND CELEBRATES THE AUGUST 25th RELEASE OF THEIR NEW ALBUM EMERGENCE WITH HIGH PROFILE PERFORMANCES IN HOLLYWOOD, NEW YORK CITY BOTH SHOWS TO FEATURE ASCENDING STAR VOCALIST ROBERTA GAMBARINI, WHOSE NEW ALBUM SO IN LOVE IS ALSO DUE AUGUST 25TH
August 25th marks the release of a pair of important new albums from two of jazz’s most vital young mavericks. Emergence (Groovin’ High/Emarcy), the debut album from the Roy Hargrove Big Band, is a bold maneuver on the part of the trumpet virtuoso, composer, and bandleader, reintroducing the now-scarce big band format as both a tribute to the collective roots of jazz and as an invigorating new creative endeavor. The album features two performances from acclaimed vocalist Roberta Gambarini, whose new album So In Love (Groovin’ High/Emarcy) shares both a street date and a sensibility marked equally by reverence for tradition and a brave willingness to expand on those principles.
To celebrate the dual releases of Emergence and So In Love, the Roy Hargrove Big Band will perform at the Hollywood Bowl on August 26th, with Gambarini appearing as a special guest. On August 29th, Hargrove and Gambarini will perform sets with their respective ensembles at J&R at Park Row in Lower Manhattan on August 29th. The Roy Hargrove Big Band and Roberta Gambarini’s group will each perform a set live in the studio of NPR affiliate and premier jazz radio station WBGO on August 28th, which will be both broadcasted and streamed. Hargrove’s appearance on the Tavis Smiley Radio Show will air August 22 and 23.
Not simply a crew of hired guns called together for one-off recordings and gigs, the Roy Hargrove Big Band is something nearly extinct in modern jazz – a big band with genuine chemistry and camaraderie, built over years of shows and rehearsals dating back over a decade. Hargrove’s big band concept continued to develop as he led the evolving group through a series of regular gigs, and the ensemble eventually solidified into the nineteen-piece powerhouse showcased on Emergence. The album’s repertoire boasts an accomplished and refreshing mix of original compositions (from both Hargrove and his bandmates), standards, and favorites from outside writers. Stylistically, the music ranges from furious swingers to majestic ballads to rollicking Latin jams, drawing inspiration from the big bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, and Gerald Wilson.
Named “Rising Star Female Vocalist of the Year” in Downbeat’s 2009 Critic’s Poll and featured on two of Emergence’s eleven tracks, Roberta Gambarini is rapidly moving to the forefront of a new generation of jazz vocalists. She was nominated for a Grammy for her 2006 debut album Easy to Love, and her 2008 major label debut You Are There was an acclaimed collection of duets with legendary pianist Hank Jones, who declared Ms. Gambarini as the best singer to emerge in over 60 years. The Boston Globe called Gambarini the “true successor to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae.” Her new album, So In Love, features a wide-ranging selection of material, made cohesive and compelling by Gambarini’s sincere, purely musical approach.