Enough of a maverick for prime listeners to expect the unexpected, Roy Hargrove does it again by focusing on the sophisticated elegance of post-bop jazz on his new album, Earfood (Groovin' High/Emarcy). Equally thrilling on trumpet and flugelhorn, Hargrove has run the gamut from new traditionalism to brash experiments with funk, R&B, and hip hop with his electric band RH Factor. But in Earfood's liner notes, he says he's after a feeling of transcendence via classic jazz and simple melodies. There's nothing simple about the harmonic treats Hargrove and his working acoustic quintet (which will accompany him at the Dakota) conjure up on the disc's deeply reflective ballads and sprightly romps, more than half originals. Perhaps the most audacious cut is "Mr. Clean," which Hargrove took from a favorite Freddie Hubbard album. Over a funk groove pianist Gerald Clayton scatters shards of chords that flirt with dissonance while Hargrove and saxophonist Justin Robinson wail in turn and then in double helix entwinement. Earfood concludes with a genuine crowd-pleaser: a live version of Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me" flushed with gospel and the joyful spirit that envelops the entire project. $40 at 7 p.m.; $25 at 9:30 p.m.
Mondays, Sundays. Starts: Sept. 7. Continues through Sept. 8, 2008