Music News: Jazz virtuoso Roy Hargrove dies at 49

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Roy Hargrove performing at the Kennedy Center in 2013.
Roy Hargrove performing at the Kennedy Center in 2013. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz)
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Above, listen to an episode of The Current's daily Music News podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts. You can also sign up for a daily Music News e-mail.


Jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove has died at age 49, of a cardiac arrest due to kidney disease that he's been fighting for over a decade. The virtuoso player was a leading face of a new generation of jazz stars who rose to fame in the '90s, and was also closely affiliated with that decade's neo-soul movement, playing on records by D'Angelo and Erykah Badu. On Instagram, Questlove wrote about Hargrove, "He is literally the one-man horn section I hear in my head when I think about music."

Hargrove also had a lasting impact on the next generation of jazz masters, co-founding the Jazz Gallery, which the New York Times calls "New York's most reliable home for cutting-edge presentations by young jazz musicians."

Women rule the MTV EMAs

The Music Television Europe Music Awards — a.k.a. the MTV EMAs — were held on Sunday in Bilbao, Spain. Women artists dominated the EMAs, with Camila Cabello scoring Best Artist, Best Video, and Best Song (both for her Young Thug collaboration "Havana"). Other big winners included Nicki Minaj, Dua Lipa, and Cardi B; and the night's most memorable moment belonged to Janet Jackson, who performed and was honored as a global icon.

In her acceptance speech, Jackson said, "I feel moved to speak for women's voices who have been stifled. I am one of those women. Women who have been gagged, both literally and emotionally. Women who have been abused. Women who have been intimidated. Women who have lived in fear. I stand with you. You are my sisters." (Billboard)

80% of Spice Girls to reunite

It's official: four out of five Spice Girls are reuniting for a U.K. stadium tour. Ginger Spice, Baby Spice, Sporty Spice, and Scary Spice announced the tour on Monday, using the hashtag #FriendshipNeverEnds. Although the quartet had hinted that their bandmate Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice, might jump in for a date or two on the June 2019 tour, Posh tells Vogue that's not happening: "I'm not going on tour. What does that look like in the future? It's not me in a catsuit." (Rolling Stone)

Postmates partners with music festival to reduce lines

If you live in New York or know many people who do, you've probably encountered a serious Postmates obsession: some people virtually live by the delivery service. They'll be pleased to know that Postmates is partnering with Tyler, The Creator's Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival music festival to help reduce food lines. Using Postmates' Pickup feature, attendees at the L.A. festival this coming weekend can order and pay for food ahead of time, then being given a time to swing by and pick it up. The feature was previously used at the Panorama Festival this summer in New York.

Eric Edge, of Postmates, says the feature not only makes life easier for fans and vendors, it increases sales. If it works as planned, attendees will have more time to spend watching artists like Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, and Brockhampton. (Billboard)

Historic Glenn Gould score surfaces

An auction on Dec. 5 will feature a Johann Sebastian Bach score that's valuable not because of who wrote the music, but because of who performed it. The sheet music for Bach's "Goldberg" Variations was used in a 1981 recording by pianist Glenn Gould, and it's covered with his handwritten annotations.

Gould actually recorded the Goldbergs twice, and both are considered among the most significant classical music recordings ever. The Canadian virtuoso was idiosyncratic in the extreme; while he didn't improvise the music per se, his freewheeling style was jazz-like in its emphasis on the performer rather than the music. He'd sing along as he played, and his electrifying 1955 recording made him a star well beyond the classical music world.

By 1981, he'd stopped playing live, which as with the Beatles only served to deepen his legendary status. When he revisited the Goldbergs, the recording was immediately hailed as a new stroke of genius from a more mature artist, and together the two recording provide a remarkable portrait of Gould's creative trajectory.

Gould died in 1982, and his recordings — particularly the Goldbergs — continue to inspire devotion and debate. The score is expected to sell for $100,000 to $150,000, and a high-quality scan of the score will be made available to scholars. (New York Times)

Prince estate begins archival video series

Prince's estate has announced plans to release new music videos on a weekly basis. The videos date from the mid-1990s to 2010, and some have been rarely seen. One of the first three videos released, "Endorphinmachine," was previously only available on a 1994 CD-ROM. Another, "Dolphin," was the first video to air when VH1 Europe launched that same year. A third is a 1997 response to the Lenny Kravitz song "Rock and Roll is Dead." Not only does Prince insist that "Rock and Roll is Alive," he tells you where it lives. (NPR)


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Janet Jackson's speech at the 2018 MTV EMAs
Erykah Badu: "Booty"
Glenn Gould: J.S. Bach's "Goldberg" Variations, BWV 988: Variation 6 1 Clav. Canone alla Seconda
Prince: "Rock 'N' Roll Is Alive! (And It Lives In Minneapolis)"


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