This piece was originally published on FYIMusicNews.

I can’t think of an artist of Roy Hargrove’s generation having a greater impact on jazz. I can honestly say I’ve witnessed Hargrove in live performance more than any artist since I first met the then 23-year-old at the du Maurier Downtown Jazz Festival in Toronto back in 1992.

I was hanging with jazz photographer Paul Hoeffler. He was trying to get that “say something” photo of Hargrove but wasn’t having much luck. It was mid-afternoon at soundcheck. Once done, Hargrove took a seat in the patron’s gallery with trumpet in hand. Hoeffler walks over and hands Hargrove a few postcards with Charles Mingus, Billie Holiday and Oscar Peterson from his collection. Hargrove reluctantly agrees to a few minutes of photo time. Hoeffler smiles, shakes his hand, then departs. He then says, “Why don’t you interview and photograph him while he’s at ease?” I almost swallowed my camera. But I approached him and asked. Hargrove, without changing his facial expression, agreed. The photos came quick, the conversation at its own pace. What came from those moments was most revealing of a young artist on the front end of an amazing career.

I can’t count the number of occasions and situations I’ve pointed a camera at Hargrove. He was always changing musically and stylistically. We also knew he was receiving daily dialysis and knew the toll it was taking on him. When Hargrove left this planet on Nov. 2, 2018, it was apparent that we had lost another Miles, Max, Bud or Charlie — a true giant.