RH Factor Distractions

Stalwart trumpeter Roy Hargrove returns with his land bridge project to unite jazz with hip-hop and soul on his latest RH Factor set, Distractions. This time around Hargrove and his top tier supporting cast travel back to the well-worn sounds of old school funk and R&B, reviving the era with a potent injection of feverish instrumentation that remains true to the period without ever sounding dated. Former Zhané member Renee Neufville returns to add some authenticity to the recordings, handling nearly all vocal duties exclusively and turning in a cut that could easily be confused for an early ’90s Janet Jackson slow jam in "Family.” Whiney synth warbles take over on the funky "Hold On,” a song cleverly embellished by the more modern sounds of flutes and punchy horn blasts, all under the rare vocal lead of Hargrove himself. Even fallen soul hero D’Angelo slides in with a gritty mid-tempo neck snapper in "Bullshit,” though the track doesn’t bore it doesn’t make a particularly convincing statement as to his remaining skills. With a blistering album closer in "Distractions 4,” and with a running time of less than 40 minutes, Hargrove gives you just enough of a good thing before your short attention span has you sprinting back to the 21st century. (Verve)