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.