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ROBERT GLASPER EXPERIMENT

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I've been waiting for this record for over a year. Happy to say it's coming out early next. If anyone can pull of this kind of a record--outside of Roots, of course-- it's Robert. He's worked with many of these people previously. I'm excited.

From Blue Note:

ROBERT GLASPER EXPERIMENT ANNOUNCES FEB. 28RELEASE OF BLACK RADIO

FEATURING ERYKAH BADU, BILAL, LUPE FIASCO,LALAH HATHAWAY,

LEDISI, MOS DEF, MUSIQ SOULCHILD, MESHELLNDEGEOCELLO & OTHERS

OnFebruary 28, 2012, Robert Glasper Experiment will release BlackRadio (Blue Note Records/EMI), a future landmark album that boldlystakes out new musical territory and transcends any notion of genre, drawingfrom jazz, hip hop, R&B and rock, but refusing to be pinned down by any onetag. The first full-length album from the GRAMMY-nominated keyboardist’selectric Experiment band—saxist Casey Benjamin, bassist Derrick Hodge,and drummer Chris DaveBlack Radio also features many ofGlasper’s famous friends from the spectrum of urban music, seamlesslyincorporating appearances from a jaw-dropping roll call of special guestsincluding Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, LalahHathaway, Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), KING, Ledisi, ChrisetteMichele, Mos Def, Musiq Soulchild, Meshell Ndegeocello,and Stokley Williams (Mint Condition).

Throughoutthe Experiment wears its eclecticism on its sleeve, presenting newcollaborative originals and surprising cover songs. They transform theAfro-Cuban standard “Afro Blue” with Erykah Badu, Sade’s “Cherish The Day” withLalah Hathaway, David Bowie’s “Letter to Hermione” with Bilal, and Nirvana’s“Smells Like Teen Spirit” with Casey Benjamin’s vocoder vocal.

Glasperhas long kept one foot planted firmly in jazz and the other in hip hop. His gigat the Blue Note Jazz Club earlier this year became a freestyle jam sessionwhen Kanye West, Mos Defand Lupe Fiasco crashed the stage. The Los Angeles Times once wrotethat “it's a short list of jazz pianists who have the wherewithal to drop a JDilla reference into a Thelonious Monk cover, but not many jazz pianists areRobert Glasper,” adding that “he's equally comfortable in the worlds of hip-hopand jazz,” and praising the organic way in which he “builds a bridge betweenhis two musical touchstones.”

Thetrack listing for Black Radio is as follows:

01 LiftOff/Mic Check (featuring Shafiq Husayn)

02 AfroBlue (featuring Erykah Badu)

03 CherishThe Day (featuring Lalah Hathaway)

04 AlwaysShine (featuring Lupe Fiasco & Bilal)

05 GonnaBe Alright (F.T.B.) (featuring Ledisi)

06 MoveLove (featuring KING)

07 AhYeah (featuring Musiq Soulchild & Chrisette Michele)

08 ConsequenceOf Jealousy (featuring Meshell Ndegeocello)

09 WhyDo We Try (featuring Stokley Williams)

10 BlackRadio (featuring Mos Def)

11 Letterto Hermoine (featuring Bilal)

12 SmellsLike Teen Spirit

* * *

Growingup in Houston, Texas, Robert Glasper had a strong musical influence in hismother, who played piano and sang gospel music in church as well as in jazz andblues clubs in Houston. By the age of twelve, he was playing piano in churchand often accompanied his mother in clubs. Raised on gospel, Motown, andR&B, by his teens he was listening to jazz, rock, pop and hip hop. Heattended the Houston High School for the Performing Arts and moved to New YorkCity to study at New School University. While still in school he was alreadyplaying with Christian McBride and Kenny Garrett, and went on to play withNicholas Payton, Terence Blanchard, and Roy Hargrove.

Afterreleasing his debut album Mood on the Fresh Sound label in 2003 followedby two buzzed about Blue Note albums with his acoustic Trio—Canvas(2005) and In My Element (2007)—Glasper perfectly captured his uniqueduality with Double-Booked (2009), an album that juxtaposed his Trio andExperiment bands, and earned the keyboardist his first GRAMMY nomination.

He’sworked extensively with Q-Tip, playing keyboards on the rapper’sGRAMMY-nominated 2008 album The Renaissance and co-writing the albumsingle “Life Is Better” which featured his labelmate Norah Jones. Glasper alsoserves as the Music Director in rapper Mos Def’s touring band, and has touredwith the multi-platinum R&B singer Maxwell. New York Magazine hascalled his music “direct, forceful, inventive, and accessible withoutpandering.”

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Posted · Report post

WOW.

This certainly got my attention. Love Glasper, and love him in Experiment mode most of all, I think. Add in Badu, Bilal, Mos, Lalah... well, how could this be anything but bangin'?

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Posted · Report post

Sounds like this will be cool. I caught his first show at the Blue Note earlier this year, when Lupe Fiasco joined him, and enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Posted · Report post

Here's "Afro Blue," with E. Badu.

This is probably my favorite song on the album, but the whole record is GREAT, and highly addictive.

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Here's "Afro Blue," with E. Badu.

This is probably my favorite song on the album, but the whole record is GREAT, and highly addictive.

It's a great performance of a standard, no doubt. That said, I can't help but compare it to Dee Dee Bridgewater's definitive (and long out of print) version from the middle of the 1970s (check it out for yourself

complete with scratchy vinyl sounds). The Bridgewater version just sends me with those rolling modal piano chords from Sir Roland Hanna, her gorgeous soprano, and those kicking drums from Motohiko Hino aiming right at Cecil Bridgewsater's soaring trumpet, it almost lifts off--especially affter that long and luscious instrumental intro. It's more urgent, more insistent, and it endures for me, all these decades later.

That said, I find nothing remotely inferior in Badu's reading;, I think I just have over 30 years with Bridgewater's and Ms. Badu's is radically different and aimed at a very different audience. As I said, I like it, a lot.

For me, the opener, " Ah Yeah" ft. Musiq Soulchild & Chrisette Michele(the first single), "Cherish The Day," with Lalah Hathaway, and "Letter To Hermione" with the inimitable Bilal (after Jose James, he's it as male vocalists are concerned in the clubjazz world) and Ledisi's "Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)," are what really grab me at the moment, but week to week it changes, and Badu;'s performance is certainly a high point on an album full of them.

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Posted · Report post

Love all of those, Thom, and will also put in a vote for the title song, with Mos Def-- proof of Mos as a truly great MC AND proof that Glapser really gets hip-hop.

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The Beeb:

Black Radio isn’t just ‘one thing’. Rather, the Houston native’s latest continues on the same path as 2009’s Double Booked: it’s a dynamic recording of aerial soul compositions and unorthodox alternative rhythms, resulting in an effervescent glimpse into modern day jazz/rock fusion. But unlike Miles, whose uncompromised aesthetic delved heavily into expansive funk patterns, Glasper contends with contemporary RnB, building upon its stilted foundation with prominent backbeats and gentle keys, wrapping warped synths around more orthodox instrumentals. At times this music carries the same muffled grittiness as golden-age hip hop, even if the mood is oceanic and free wielding.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Glasper is profiled in the Washington Post.

I'm watching the

my first exposure to Glasper's music, and am trying not to fall hard for it. Edited by Christian

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Posted · Report post

This is why I try to keep one eye on the music forum. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Posted · Report post

This record-- still my favorite of the year, by a longshot-- is getting an EP-length sequel, tomorrow.

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