Susanne Alt
Susanne Alt

Radio France (FR) Jazz Bonus 15-02-2024

Radio France


Saxophonist Susanne Alt releases “Royalty For Real” on the Venus Tunes label, an album dedicated to trumpet icon Roy Hargrove.

After performing over a hundred concerts per year as a saxophonist and DJ, Susanne Alt, who lives in Amsterdam, saw her schedule suddenly clear during the Covid pandemic. It was the perfect opportunity to return to her first love: jazz.

Susanne Alt discovered the music of Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett, and Roy Hargrove at the age of 15, with Hargrove having a profound influence on her musicality. Years later, she met the trumpeter during late-night jam sessions at festivals in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States, and the two musicians often played together. Roy Hargrove's death in 2018 was a huge shock for Susanne Alt, and she felt compelled to compose a series of pieces in tribute to the trumpeter's legacy and the memories they shared.

Combining soul, blues, funk, and nods to the bop tradition, "Royalty for Real" is a modern and soulful exploration of groove, melody, and improvisation. From the lively “Bel Air Bop,” an ode to the late-night jams at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Bel Air hotel in The Hague, to the groove of “Rue Lepic,” a tribute to Hargrove's classic “Strasbourg Saint-Denis,” to the delicate interpretation of “The Nearness of You”—a ballad often heard in Hargrove's repertoire—the album is a real treat for the ears. “Roy Allan” is a composition that Hargrove wrote for his father.

Veterans of the American jazz scene join Susanne Alt on this album: bassist Gerald Cannon played in Elvin Jones's band for years and was the musical director for McCoy Tyner; drummer Willie Jones III has toured with musicians such as Milt Jackson and Arturo Sandoval. Keyboard virtuoso James Hurt, known for his versatility, has collaborated with musicians like Abbey Lincoln, Sherman Irby, and Jacques Schwarz-Bart.

Susanne Alt (alto and tenor saxophones, flute, and percussion)

James Hurt (Fender Rhodes and piano)

Gerald Cannon (double bass)

Willie Jones III (drums)

Robert Glass (percussion)

on 18/05/2024


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