This well-rounded set not only features trumpeter Roy Hargrove with his mid-'90s quintet (tenor saxophonist Ron Blake, pianist Stephen Scott, bassist Rodney Whitaker, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson) but with two other rhythm sections and a few special guests. The first three selections (which includes the uptempo blues "Brian's Bounce") are called "Trilogy" and dedicated to various family members. Hargrove shows off his warm tone on "The Nearness of You" (a ballads with strings album was in the near future), and other highlights include the lyrical "Pas de Trois," a duet by Hargrove and bassist Walter Booker on Larry Willis' "Ethiopia," and a driving version of "Firm Roots." A meeting between Hargrove and Wynton Marsalis on the bop standard "Nostalgia" is disappointingly tame, but otherwise this is a high-quality modern hard bop release.
by Scott Yanow