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Roy Hargrove Returns With A Seattle Vibe

Roy Hargrove practicing ‘The Seattle Vibe’ before the start of his live performance in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm
Roy Hargrove practicing ‘The Seattle Vibe’ before the start of his live performance in the KNKX Studio.

He's known as one of the top trumpet players in jazz for the past quarter century, and returned to the KNKX studios with a fantastic new song for the city Roy says has always inspired him.

"The Seattle Vibe" was so new, his quintet hadn't heard it until they arrived in town for their stay at Jazz Alley. There wasn't much time to chat with the band before our live broadcast, Roy was guiding them through the soulful changes and groovy tempo of his latest song.

If you don't catch Hargrove in live performance, you'll have trouble hearing his music these days. He hasn't made an album since the 2009 big band album Emergence. Recording albums doesn't make financial sense, he says, making this exclusive studio session a special occasion. 

Ameen Saleem and Justin Robinson are important, long-time members of the band on bass and alto sax. They provide the soulful backbone and the melodic and harmonic foil to Hargrove's music.

New members Tadataka Unno at the piano and Quincy Phillips on drums were able to find their places in the group and also show off their chops when the moments required it.

Hargrove's still creating compelling jazz, regardless of his recorded output, and live in our studios, we were treated to a rare intimate session of jazz creation. It was almost like a miniature album played just for us.

Studio Sessions Live Studio Sessions
Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.