Music Review: 'The Vibe'
Wynton Marsalis was young before it was fashionable. More than a decade ago, he set the stage for the current youth-minded jazz industry, of which the gifted trumpeter Roy Hargrove, 22, is a key player. Wynton has since dropped the bravura and look-Ma-no-hands technical gusto of his young(er) days. Of late, he has been savoring long notes, luxuriant horn textures, slow, bluesy tempos, and long-form compositions (the title suite racks up 40 minutes). What we miss are dazzling moments from the leader himself, now 30 and seemingly content to step back a bit from the spotlight and focus more on his written notes and the solo voices around him. Whereas Marsalis continues to nurture his creative vision, the wet-behind-the-horn Hargrove is still polishing his chops and looking for a voice to call his own. Hargrove’s third album consists of yet further variations, though confidently stated ones, on the theme of ’60s-brand jazz nostalgia. He pays lip service to Wayne Shorter’s classic ”Pinocchio” and pens tunes with stylistic origins from before he was born. The Vibe shows that Hargrove is still in the formative stages of a potentially brilliant career.