Saturday, July 10, 2010

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on Keyon Harrold

This week, let's look at some clips of trumpet player, arranger/composer, producer and St. Louis native Keyon Harrold, who's coming back home on Friday, July 30 and Saturday, July 31 to lead his quintet at Jazz at the Bistro.

Touted by Wynton Marsalis in an interview a few years back as "the future of the trumpet," Harrold has amassed some impressive credits, both as a jazz player and as a sideman, arranger and producer for pop, R&B and hip-hop stars like neo-soul crooner Maxwell and rapper Jay-Z.

Harrold's shows at the Bistro are billed as a CD release event, though his debut disc, Introducing Keyon Harrold, actually came out last fall on the Criss Cross label. The CD features six of Harrold's own compositions, along with "Amazing Grace" and a version of Horace Silver's song "Peace," performed by a quintet featuring Harrold's frequent collaborator, tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland and his brother E.J. Strickland on drums, plus pianist Danny Grissett and bassist Dezron Douglas.

In addition to Marsalis and the Stricklands, Harrold has performed or recorded with fellow former St. Louisans David Sanborn and John Hicks, as well as Christian McBride, Billy Harper, the Count Basie Orchestra, Reggie Workman, Mark Whitfield, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Roy Hargrove, and numerous others. On the pop side, Harrold has played with Lauryn Hill, Chaka Khan, Macy Gray, Common, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, The Roots, Destiny’s Child, and more, while his production company has been involved in hit records by 50 Cent, Young Buck, Mobb Deep, LL Cool J and others.

Today's first clip features Harrold as jazz soloist, playing the standard "I Hear A Rhapsody" at a club gig in NYC. Down below, you can see another solo in a short clip of the trumpeter playing in what looks like the main auditorium at Harris Stowe State University with a band featuring Shedrick Mitchell (organ), Chuckie Haynes (drums), Gregg Haynes (guitar), Al "Boogie" (bass) and, though unheard in this short excerpt, saxophonist Donald Hayes.

Down below that, there's a clip of Harrold sitting in with saxophonist Kenneth Whalum III's quartet at another NYC club. The trumpet solo starts at about 1:14 and continues until just short of the four-minute mark. Last but not least, we get a glimpse of Harrold in the studio, as he lays down a track for producer Dave Crenshaw.

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