Larry Blumenfeld
June 13, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The RH Factor Hard Groove

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
guest performer
Erykah Badu, D'Angelo
Producers
Verve
genre
Jazz, Hip-Hop/Rap

We gave it a B

Jazz musicians aren’t always welcome in hip-hop’s hood. But trumpeter Hargrove plays regularly with the likes of D’Angelo, Common, and Erykah Badu. Hence, the all-star cast and a mix that stresses thick bass, heavy backbeats, and danceable grooves. Forgive the back-patting wordplay of ”Common Free Style” (”Roy Hargrove/Stars rove in the sky”), and listen to the horn-and-voice riff: It echoes P-Funk, as does D’Angelo’s simmering take on George Clinton’s ”I’ll Stay.” Badu haunts on ”Poetry,” and Hargrove’s savvy playing lights up even the cuts that miss.

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