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Robert Glasper Experiment: ‘Black Radio’ on Blue Note Records

on February 27, 2012with 0 comments


On February 28, 2012, Robert Glasper Experiment will release Black Radio (Blue Note Records/EMI), a future landmark album that boldly stakes out new musical territory and transcends any notion of genre, drawing from jazz, hip hop, R&B and rock, but refusing to be pinned down by any one tag. The first full-length album from the GRAMMY-nominated keyboardist’s electric Experiment band—saxist/vocoderist Casey Benjamin, bassist Derrick Hodge, and drummer Chris DaveBlack Radio also features many of Glasper’s famous friends from the spectrum of urban music, seamlessly incorporating appearances from a jaw-dropping roll call of special guests including Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Lalah Hathaway, Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), KING, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Musiq Soulchild, Meshell Ndegeocello, Stokley Williams (Mint Condition), and yasiin bey (Mos Def).

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

Glasper has long kept one foot planted firmly in jazz and the other in hip hop. His gig at the Blue Note Jazz Club earlier this year became a freestyle jam session when Kanye West, yasiin bey and Lupe Fiasco crashed the stage. The Los Angeles Times once wrote that “it’s a short list of jazz pianists who have the wherewithal to drop a J Dilla reference into a Thelonious Monk cover, but not many jazz pianists are Robert Glasper,” adding that “he’s equally comfortable in the worlds of hip-hop and jazz,” and praising the organic way in which he “builds a bridge between his two musical touchstones.”

The track listing for Black Radio is as follows:

01 Lift Off/Mic Check (featuring Shafiq Husayn)

02 Afro Blue (featuring Erykah Badu)

03 Cherish The Day (featuring Lalah Hathaway)

04 Always Shine (featuring Lupe Fiasco & Bilal)

05 Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.) (featuring Ledisi)

06 Move Love (featuring KING)

07 Ah Yeah (featuring Musiq Soulchild & Chrisette Michele)

08 Consequence Of Jealousy (featuring Meshell Ndegeocello)

09 Why Do We Try (featuring Stokley Williams)

10 Black Radio (featuring yasiin bey)

11 Letter to Hermione (featuring Bilal)

12 Smells Like Teen Spirit

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Robert Glasper had a strong musical influence in his mother, who played piano and sang gospel music in church as well as in jazz and blues clubs in Houston. By the age of twelve, he was playing piano in church and often accompanied his mother in clubs. Raised on gospel, Motown, and R&B, by his teens he was listening to jazz, rock, pop and hip hop. He attended the Houston High School for the Performing Arts and moved to New York City to study at New School University. While still in school he was already playing with Christian McBride and Kenny Garrett, and went on to play with Nicholas Payton, Terence Blanchard, and Roy Hargrove.

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

He’s worked extensively with Q-Tip, playing keyboards on the rapper’s GRAMMY-nominated 2008 album The Renaissance and co-writing the album single “Life Is Better” which featured his labelmate Norah Jones. Glasper also serves as the Music Director in rapper yasiin bey’s touring band, and has toured with the multi-platinum R&B singer Maxwell. New York Magazine has called his music “direct, forceful, inventive, and accessible without pandering.”







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