Roy Hargrove was the real deal. He had beauty in him and perhaps more than just a little darkness. For some reason these are the musicians I tend to gravitate towards.
I remember so distinctly a moment at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in its first year. Roy was on stage taking a solo, and it seemed the band wasn’t giving him the energy he was clearly feeling. So, with no warning he took the horn out of his mouth, turned towards the band and just screamed at them. Not any words — just a primal outburst. They were startled into action, and duly followed him as he resumed his solo.
This approach to music and life isn’t a choice, it’s absolutely essential to keep complacency at bay. So thank you Roy for that. For always channelling the music and for playing like your life depended on it … I guess in the end it did. Rest easy now. — Trumpeter Marcus Wyatt speaking about Roy Hargrove, who died this week.