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WHAT IS JAZZ?

A Look Back At Robert Glasper's Enoch's "Inaugural" Meditation

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One of the most powerful jazz documentation of a Presidential Inauguration was a YouTube presentation of Robert Glasper's “Enoch's Meditation," a piece from his 2005 album entitled Canvas. Glasper, a Blue Note artist and Grammy Award winning jazz piano star, has received critical acclaim for his trio style that weaves together a tapestry of diverse musical genres from rock, hip hop, gospel to even country, staying within the jazz aesthetic in a way that is mind-blowing. Through the ingenuity of Josh Jackson, special presentation director at WBGO 88.3 FM, “Enoch's Meditation" received a presidential “rendering" where the piece ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Robert Glasper Experiment: Black Radio 2

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The conditions have to be just right for lightning to strike twice in the same location which holds true for studio recordings where the variables of performers, music, and other factors can affect the outcome. While Robert Glasper's 2012 critically acclaimed Black Radio (Blue Note) deftly combined jazz, hip hop, and “Neo Soul" to win Best R&B Album at the 55th Grammy Awards, its follow up, Black Radio 2, is worthy but won't garner the attention of its predecessor. With a new roster of popular names that include poet/rapper Common, the iconic Snoop Dog, and instrumental changes like the noted ...

ONE LP

Robert Glasper: Slum Village, Fantastic Vol. 2

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Robert Glasper: Glasgow Jazz Festival, 28th June 2012 The reason this album is special to me is because the producer of the album--J Dilla is my favorite hip hop producer and I got the privilege to actually work with him before he passed away in 2006. To work with him--watch him make music--watch him in “the lab" and see how he works. J Dilla is probably the only producer I know that changed the way musicians actually play their instruments. Normally a producer will just take from the musicians and do their ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Robert Glasper Experiment: Black Radio

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Evoking the fruitful jazz and pop crossover efforts of the 1970s, pianist Robert Glasper's Experiment infuses improvisational sensibilities into an array of contemporary black music traditions, from R&B and neo-soul to funk and hip-hop. Glasper is no stranger to such collaborations; in addition to leading his own acoustic and electric ensembles, he is music director of Mos Def's touring band and sideman to rapper Q-Tip and R&B singer Maxwell.Drawing from an impressive pool of pop music talent, Black Radio features an all-star cast, including household names like Ledisi, Me'shell Ndegeocello and Musiq Soulchild. The majority of the date ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Robert Glasper: Temptation Redux

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"Hello world, peace and love--I wish you the best, and now for the next" are the first words uttered with the cadence of a street corner preacher-come poet by Shafiq Hussein, only two bars into Robert Glasper's Black Radio (Blue Note, 2012). As if to lay down the essence of his latest record right off the top, Glasper's piano dances mercurially over Hussein's musings like a skater creating abstract art on glistening ice. The effect is beguiling, sexy and urban chic in a way that is at once challenging and embracing.When queried about what he could imagine his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Robert Glasper Experiment: Black Radio

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Robert Glasper's love for the music of his upbringing is deep. The sounds of hip hop, R&B, and urban soul music are intrinsically linked to a brilliant young jazz pianist who has gigged with jazz icons, headlined his own bands, and released a number of noteworthy recordings, including 2007's In My Element (Bluenote) and 2009's Double Booked (EMI). His music has borne the fruits of this passion; he's as comfortable with “J Dilla" as he is with John Coltrane. Some have questioned whether Glasper is abandoning his jazz roots and selling out to popular music. Yet as if to quote ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Robert Glasper: Black Radio

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Depending on your age, Houston-born pianist/composer Robert Glasper is--like trumpeters Christian Scott and Ambrose Akinmusire, and bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding-either the herald of a new world a-comin' when jazz musicians will be heard on pop radio on a regular basis, or he's a throwback to the golden age of the seventies, when jazz stars, from Herbie Hancock to Donald Byrd, were played on African-American and pop stations.Blessed with a fleet-fingered, countrified approach to the piano that blends gospel, Thelonious Monk and hip-hop producer J Dilla, Black Radio is a propulsive, poetic and profound recording that deftly and defiantly destroys ...



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