Release: February 16, 2024
After years of performing over a hundred shows annually as both a saxophonist and DJ, Amsterdam based Susanne Alt found her schedule suddenly empty during the COVID-19 pandemic. This presented a perfect opportunity to revisit her first love: jazz. Dedicated to trumpet icon Roy Hargrove and featuring an all star lineup of the New York scene, ‘Royalty For Real’ is set to release on February 16th on Venus Tunes.
Alt was first introduced to the music of Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett, and Roy Hargrove at the age of 15, with the latter standing out as a profound influence on her musicality. Years later, Alt found herself running into Hargrove at late-night jam sessions after festival appearances in Germany, the Netherland and the US and the two played together frequently. Hargrove’s passing in 2018 came as a tremendous shock to Alt, and she felt moved to compose a series of pieces in homage to the trumpeter’s legacy, and the memories they shared.
Bringing together soul, blues, funk, and nods to the bop tradition, ‘Royalty for Real’ is an effortless, modern, and soulful exploration of groove, melody, and improvisation. Recorded at EastSide Sound in NYC, the warm, organic production presents the band in a raw, intimate fashion, giving the listener a front seat to the exchange of energy and ideas between the experienced quartet.
From the driving ‘Bel Air Bop’ – an ode to those late-night North Sea Jazz Festival jams in The Hague’s Bel Air Hotel,, the feel-good groove of ‘Rue Lepic’ – a tribute to the Hargrove classic ‘Strasbourg Saint-Denis’, a delicate rendition of ‘The Nearness of You’ – a ballad often heard in Hargrove’s repertoire, to a reinterpretation of ‘Roy Allan’ – a piece Hargove wrote for his father, the record sees Alt offer up pieces of her identity as a composer and soloist to one of her greatest heroes.
Joining Alt are notable veterans of the American jazz scene: Bassist Gerald Cannon played in Elvin Jones’ band for years and served as McCoy Tyner’s musical director and drummer Willie Jones III has toured with the likes of Milt Jackson and Arturo Sandoval – the pair played together in Roy Hargove’s own band for seven years. Keys virtuoso James Hurt is known for his versatility and has collaborated with the likes of Abbey Lincoln, Sherman Irby, and Jacques Schwarz-Bart.
Susanne Alt | Alto / Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Percussion
James Hurt | Fender Rhodes, Piano
Gerald Cannon | Bass
Willie Jones III | Drums
Robert Glass | Percussion (Tracks 3 & 5)
Blue Notes & Fairy Tales
Bel Air Bop
The Nearness Of You Hoagy
Royalty For Real
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