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Roy Campbell Jr.

This “monster trumpeter”, as the jazz magazine Cadence once called him, traces a line from the bop trumpet tradition of Lee Morgan (with something of Booker Little) to the free jazz contexts we find him with the groups Pyramid Trio, Other Dimensions in Music, Shades and Colors of Trane and Downtown Horns, along with front line musicians like William Parker, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen, Hamid Drake, Warren Smith and Rashied Bakr. And when some are trying to present jazz as the American classical music, his vision of this language is the perfect example of the idea of “world music”. Roy Campbell takes elements from several music expressions of the African diaspora in the New World, from rhythm and blues to hip hop, and mixes it with the Black Continent roots, be it musical, cultural or spiritual, not forgeting the Afro-Cuban rhythms. Jazz as he plays it is a trans-idiomatic and ethnic / folk music, with everything to do with present day times. Enough reason to be awarded as a Harlem Unsung Hero, an honor he received in 2003. “Ancestral voices, modern artistry and futuristic vision”, we read as a subtitle in his website, and with these words all is said about his path as a musician and a human being. His old teachers Yusef Lateef, Kenny Dorham, Howard McGhee and Lee Morgan must be proud of him, wherever they are, this side of life or the other.

Roy Campbell Jr.'s records on clean feed
Coalescence
Whit Dickey
Live at the Bop Shop
Nu Band
In a Heartbeat
Whit Dickey
Sacred Ground
Whit Dickey
 
     
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