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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
Canvas is pianist Robert Glasper's second recording, and his first on Blue Note. He's joined by bassist Vincente Archer and drummer Damion Reid for the main portion of Canvas, while tenor Mark Turner and vocalist Bilal make two appearances each. Perhaps the first thing a listener might note of Glasper's style on the original, "Rise and Shine," is its rich, melodic flavor. While this lyricism alone would draw the listener in, it's Glasper's ability to develop new ideas as the piece progresses, adding complexity to his lyricism, that really recommends his approach. In the case of the title cut, Glasper and company keep the composition intriguing for nearly ten minutes. It's also nice on Canvas that both Archer and Reid match Glasper's adventurousness, providing an intricate net that both supports his solos and drives them onward. Turner blends effortlessly into the band on the title cut and Herbie Hancock's "Riot," adding a slightly bigger sound and turning in fine lead work. The vocals come rather late in the program on tracks seven and ten, and are not typically what one might expect from vocals (even in jazz). Instead, Bilal's wordless drone, hum, and smooth choral backing mixes like an additional instrument that adds another textural element to the music. Canvas also sounds great, and producer Eli Wolf has done a fine job putting these elements together into an organic whole. Canvas is both melodic and adventurous, and will please both Glasper's fans and anyone who appreciates good piano jazz. © Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr. /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 16, 2015 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Four months after winning his second Grammy Award in the R&B category for Black Radio 2, pianist Robert Glasper re-assembles the acoustic jazz trio that played on his first two Blue Note recordings. Bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid assist the pianist in a live audience recording from Capitol's famed Studio A. Covered is far from a return to an acoustic piano trio for Glasper. Instead, it's an acoustic approach to the directions he employed on his early Blue Note dates, and the R&B and hip-hop engagements on Black Radio. With the redo of "I Don't Even Care," Black Radio 2 commences with a nearly elliptical air, but Reid's skittering snare creates a dance rhythm while Archer's bassline plays the changes and tastefully fills Glasper's ever widening melodic circle. With post-bop flourishes, he nonetheless remains close to the harmonic center, uncovering its richness in the process. The rhythm section's intro to Radiohead's "Reckoner" is lithe and almost funky before Glasper uses the melody's limited palette as a circular, restrained, yet emotionally moving exploration of its possibilities. The album's centerpiece is the 13-minute "In Case You Forgot." It begins with a knotty, angular solo piano intro (check "Silly Rabbit" from 2007's In My Element), with single-note syncopations and mid-register arpeggios cascading around a four-note bassline with classical embellishments. When the rhythm section enters, they weave jazz standards and modern pop songs together -- from Freddie Hubbard's "Up Jumped Spring" and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" to Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," among others -- with sharp, sudden cuts from Glasper before they all climb headlong into their own sprint. Scattered throughout the set is Glasper's sincere but wry dialogue with his audience. A considerable strength from the trio is their ability to translate the appeal of neo-soul ballads such as Musiq (Soulchild)'s "So Beautiful," Jhené Aiko's "The Worst," and Bilal's "Levels" as jazz, even equating them with standards. An example is "Stella by Starlight," whose canny arrangement simultaneously celebrates, decodes, and cracks open Bill Evans' lyricism atop triple-timed brushed snare -- think drum'n'bass -- and a bumping bassline. Harry Belafonte delivers an earnest, grainy, proud and poignant spoken word appearance on "Got Over." Set closer "I'm Dying of Thirst" offers a shadowy melody to a Latin-tinged tom-tom and bass groove as a children's chorus recites the names of African-Americans shot by police; it results in a statement of dignity and self-determination. Glasper's piano alternates between contemplative vamp and haunting elegy before it whispers to a finish. Covered may be a return to the acoustic piano trio, but cedes none of the ground gained by the Black Radio albums. This is Glasper refusing to be reined in by any format or artistic desire but his own. This set is welcoming, open, and warm: it invites fans of all of his musical pursuits along for the ride. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Fresh Sound Records

Distinctions 4 étoiles Jazzman
In his sophomore New Sound effort, Marcus Strickland again tugs at the loose threads of the progressive wing of mid-'60s mainstream jazz. He fronts the same quartet as in his debut, which includes his twin brother E.J. Strickland on drums, pianist Robert Glasper, and bassist Brandon Owen. When they get cooking with guest Jeremy Pelt's blistering trumpet on "Values & Imperatives" or "Predator," they show how passionate evocations of the past can facilitate musicians' search for their own voices. The leader displays that voice most effectively on the ballad "Amen." Unfortunately, the impact of several numbers is muted because of instrument choices. Strickland sounds much less distinctive when he wields soprano, as he does on five tracks, than when blowing the larger, more resonant tenor. Glasper plays the once-again fashionable electric piano on a number of tracks, blurring his usually intriguing lines. Just what this superb young pianist can do is evident on "Predator," where he launches the music into a higher orbit. Overall, Brotherhood offers more evidence that the Stricklands are a potent family act in line with the Marsalis clan. © David Dupont /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 3, 2019 | Loma Vista Recordings

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Jazz - Released May 1, 2020 | Loma Vista Recordings

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2012 | Blue Note Records

Black Radio, the title of the Robert Glasper Experiment's proper Blue Note debut, is a double signifier. There's the dictionary's definition: "the device in an aircraft that records technical data during a flight, used in case of accident to discover its cause." And there's Angelika Beener's in her liner essay. She defines Black Radio as "representative of the veracity of Black music" which has been "...emulated, envied and countlessly re-imagined by the rest of the world...." With jazz as its backbone, Glasper, drummer Chris Dave, bassist Derrick Hodge, and Casey Benjamin on reeds, winds, and vocoder, cued by the inspiration of black music's illustrious cultural past, try to carve out a creative place for its future. The album is a seamless, deeply focused meld of jazz, hip-hop, adult contemporary R&B, neo-soul, even rock, with an expansive use of rhythmic and melodic invention; all of it surrounded by spacious, natural-sounding production that's smooth, never slick. The various elements yield the desired result: making the whole greater than its parts. Sa-Ra's Shafiq Husayn introduces it with "Lift Off." Erykah Badu takes the Cuban jazz classic "Afro Blue" and extends it using hip-hop rhythms and neo-soul groove wedded to her signature, jazz-tinged croon. Benjamin's airy flute and Glasper's Rhodes and piano converge in the center; Hodge's bass adds slip for the drum kit. Lalah Hathaway's gorgeous vocal on Sade's "Cherish the Day" finds the rhythm section bumping around the fringes and creating a new pocket, which she embraces while finding spaces inside the song that weren't there before. On "Always Shine," Lupe Fiasco's flow meets Bilal's emotive modern soul. The band stretches conventional 4/4 time, and the piano and synth shapeshift through the melody, adding depth and musical drama. "Gonna Be Alright" is a re-imagining of Glasper's "F.T.B." with new lyrics and a rousing, elegant vocal by Ledisi. King dreamily croons through "Move Love," as the Experiment pushes the time accents to a near breaking point. "Ah Yeah," with Musiq (Soulchild) and Chrisette Michele, is a sensual babymaker that expands the reach of contemporary jazz. The subtle yet fragmented breaks in "The Consequences of Jealousy," combined with Glasper's right-handed, upper-register chord creations, give Me'Shell Ndégeocello's vocal room to step outside the frame to fully inhabit the brooding musical simmer as an improviser. On "Why Do We Try," Stokley's (Mint Condition) breezy vocal is the bridge between Glasper's counterpoint melodies (one on each hand, with plenty of block chord improvisation), and the organ-esque timbres, popping breakbeats, and rumbling bass harmonics. The title track, with Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) commences with hip-hop in the tune's head; the rhythm section charges full press to meet his rapid-fire delivery, but Glasper and Benjamin offer gentler modal grooves on the margins without blunting the impact. Bilal uses his elastic phrasing to offer an iconic reading of David Bowie's "Letter to Hermione," as the band follows and builds upon his twists and turns. A drum machine and slurred speaking voice introduce Glasper's modally strident reading of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" to close. As Benjamin sings through his vocoder, loops, blips, and sample fragments haunt the middle like ghosts. Glasper approaches the melody elliptically; but grounds the entire tune, even as the rhythm section and effects gather steam. Before long, everything converges to propel it into the stratosphere. Black Radio creates an entirely new context for popular music in its near erasure of boundaries. It is the sound of the future -- even if no one knows it yet. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Blue Note Records

Pianist Robert Glasper was Blue Note's big discovery of 2005, a young player whose music fit into jazz's modern mainstream yet was open to the influences of R&B and hip-hop, both of which he had performed previously. What is particularly impressive about Glasper's playing on In My Element is that he does not sound like anyone else. Although his style does not necessarily blaze any new paths and this is a conventional if modern piano trio CD, Glasper has his own sound and approach. Bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid work very well with Glasper. The three musicians blend together perfectly and think along similar lines. While "Silly Rabbit," with its use of an answering machine message, is a little eccentric and the closing "Tribute" has excerpts from a eulogy for Glasper's mother recited by Reverend Joe Ratliff, the music in general is not so much innovative as it is a revitalization of the jazz piano trio. The thought-provoking improvisations grow in interest with each listen. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 3, 2019 | Loma Vista Recordings

This is not the first time he has planted dynamite on stylistic borders. In fact, Robert Glasper seems to have made it his raison d'être. Spending his time ripping off the “jazz pianist” label that has been stuck on his back, the American has paved the way for a whole generation of musicians seeking to inject jazz into soul, rap and any other genre for that matter. There is nothing prefabricated about this approach, something that becomes evident on Fuck Yo Feelings which feels more like a mixtape than a real album. It is the fruit of a few hours spent at Hollywood’s Henson Studios with a group of cherry-picked friends, who set off with no roadmap or instruction manual. The result is an improvised stream of music lasting over 70 minutes, spread across 19 tracks and featuring a rather mind-blowing line up including Yassin Bey (a.k.a. Mos Def), Bilal, Denzel Curry, Rapsody, Mick Jenkins, Terrace Martin, SiR, not forgetting the incredible Herbie Hancock, Glasper’s nearly-80-year-old idol and a true pioneer of genre fusion. Listening to Fuck Yo Feelings is like being a fly on the wall to this informal jam session; one that brings together exciting, inspired moments with more off-the-cuff and almost unfinished-seeming melodies. Given his huge talent, it is no surprise that Robert Glasper’s arrangements of these hours of jazz, soul and hip-hop recordings make for a totally exhilarating experience. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released May 27, 2016 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Blue Note Records

There is a certain hipness in title of Double Booked that reflects the hipness of the music itself. It hints at two voicemail messages by Terrence Blanchard and ?uestlove, respectively, that ask Robert Glasper about apparently being double booked on the same night with two different bands at different clubs. The irony in that paradox is that Glasper performs with his acoustic trio on the first half of the record, and with his Experiment on the second half. Glasper’s trio is a crack unit with Chris Dave on drums and bassist Vincente Archer. They understand where he’s at rhythmically and know how to knot things up and swing simultaneously. The expansive harmonics inherent in the album’s first two tracks -- the skittering flow on “No Worries” that takes its post-bop seriously with some amazing improvisation, and the more open, airy lyricism on “Yes I’m Country (And That’s OK)" -- are kind of opposite ends of the coin, but they're underscored and punctuated by an innovative reading of Thelonious Monk’s “Think of One” to close the trio part of the record. The Experiment's half begins as Mos Def raps over Glasper's Rhodes piano and Dave’s hip-hop drums. It expands from here with Derrick Hodge’s funky electric bass, and saxophonist’s Casey Benjamin's use of a vocoder over Dave's breakbeats. The centerpiece is the ten-minute “Festival,” an ultra-modern, funky jazz tune with some complex improvisational navigation. Glasper plays acoustic piano and Rhodes going head to head with that low-tuned funky bass and Benjamin’s outward-bound sax and spacy vocoder. Bilal joins the band on the last two cuts. He is as comfortable singing jazz and soul as he is hip-hop; he’s a kindred spirit for Glasper. “All Matter” walks on the hip-hop side of jazz, and Hodge's “Open Mind,” which makes use of Jahi Sundance’s turntablism, is a midtempo ballad drenched in experimental jazz and nu-soul as Dave practices frantic breaks inside the shimmering melodic structure. Another notable thing about Double Booked is that it was recorded completely live in the studio. This is modern jazz that extends into popular music -- without compromise. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2012 | Blue Note Records

Robert Glasper's Black Radio received justifiable critical acclaim for its seamless, accessible, groundbreaking blur of jazz, hip-hop, neo-soul, and rock, and achieved a level of marketplace success that even the artist couldn't anticipate. By contrast, Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP goes boldly into more exploratory terrain. Glasper isn't afraid to get sonic. These six tracks -- five remixes from the album and an unreleased track from the BR sessions -- dig deeper into beats, synthetic soundscapes, samples, and the more outré regions of the Robert Glasper Experiment's musical world. Things don't sound that weird from the jump, however. First up is 9th Wonder's remix of "Afro Blue," with Phonte's rap complementing Erykah Badu's vocal; the production has a very Foreign Exchange kind of feel. The title track moves things along with Pete Rock stripping it dubwise; bass and beats rumble amid samples, the Experiment shifts in and further in, while Yasiin Bey's rapid-fire rap is pushed right up front for crunch. This is jazzed-up hip-hop with teeth. ?uestlove's remix of Little Dragon's "Twice," with Solange Knowles and the Roots, is a real highlight. The addition of stringed instruments, bells, and layered effects under Glasper's crystalline piano melds spiritual jazz and cosmic soul into a glorious spacy whole. Glasper and Jewels' take on "Letter to Hermione" adds Black Milk's off-meter rhyme to Bilal's vocal. The shimmering repetitive piano atop the snare and hi-hat rhythm track underscores the refrain and gradually morphs into a complex coda. The big treat here is the nine-plus-minute "Dillalude #2," a tribute to J Dilla (complete with Ma Dukes' intro via voicemail for authenticity). While the track has made its way into the RGE's live set, its recorded version is chock-full of tidbits from Dilla's various productions. Glasper even goes so far as to offer his own insertions of Bobby Caldwell's "Open Your Eyes" (which Dilla sampled for Common's "The Light" from 2000's Like Water for Chocolate) before quoting from the melody of Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love" and then moving back. Chris Dave's read of Dilla's trademark drum shuffle slow cooks it throughout. Black Radio Recovered, with its nocturnal, hall-of-mirrors vibe, exponentially extends the reach of the original album's source material without losing its heart. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 16, 2015 | Blue Note (BLU)

Four months after winning his second Grammy Award in the R&B category for Black Radio 2, pianist Robert Glasper re-assembles the acoustic jazz trio that played on his first two Blue Note recordings. Bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid assist the pianist in a live audience recording from Capitol's famed Studio A. Covered is far from a return to an acoustic piano trio for Glasper. Instead, it's an acoustic approach to the directions he employed on his early Blue Note dates, and the R&B and hip-hop engagements on Black Radio. With the redo of "I Don't Even Care," Black Radio 2 commences with a nearly elliptical air, but Reid's skittering snare creates a dance rhythm while Archer's bassline plays the changes and tastefully fills Glasper's ever widening melodic circle. With post-bop flourishes, he nonetheless remains close to the harmonic center, uncovering its richness in the process. The rhythm section's intro to Radiohead's "Reckoner" is lithe and almost funky before Glasper uses the melody's limited palette as a circular, restrained, yet emotionally moving exploration of its possibilities. The album's centerpiece is the 13-minute "In Case You Forgot." It begins with a knotty, angular solo piano intro (check "Silly Rabbit" from 2007's In My Element), with single-note syncopations and mid-register arpeggios cascading around a four-note bassline with classical embellishments. When the rhythm section enters, they weave jazz standards and modern pop songs together -- from Freddie Hubbard's "Up Jumped Spring" and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" to Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," among others -- with sharp, sudden cuts from Glasper before they all climb headlong into their own sprint. Scattered throughout the set is Glasper's sincere but wry dialogue with his audience. A considerable strength from the trio is their ability to translate the appeal of neo-soul ballads such as Musiq (Soulchild)'s "So Beautiful," Jhené Aiko's "The Worst," and Bilal's "Levels" as jazz, even equating them with standards. An example is "Stella by Starlight," whose canny arrangement simultaneously celebrates, decodes, and cracks open Bill Evans' lyricism atop triple-timed brushed snare -- think drum'n'bass -- and a bumping bassline. Harry Belafonte delivers an earnest, grainy, proud and poignant spoken word appearance on "Got Over." Set closer "I'm Dying of Thirst" offers a shadowy melody to a Latin-tinged tom-tom and bass groove as a children's chorus recites the names of African-Americans shot by police; it results in a statement of dignity and self-determination. Glasper's piano alternates between contemplative vamp and haunting elegy before it whispers to a finish. Covered may be a return to the acoustic piano trio, but cedes none of the ground gained by the Black Radio albums. This is Glasper refusing to be reined in by any format or artistic desire but his own. This set is welcoming, open, and warm: it invites fans of all of his musical pursuits along for the ride. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2012 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released August 28, 2001 | Fresh Sound Records

Jeremy Pelt makes his debut as a leader with Profile, a nearly all-original outing that features Robert Glasper on piano, Gerald Cannon on bass, and Ralph Peterson on drums. Tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene also plays on all but two tracks, while altoist Jaleel Shaw and guitarist Mike Moreno lend their talents on one tune apiece. In addition to his formidable trumpet chops, Pelt displays a mature and engaging compositional voice. On "Pieces of a Dream" and the bright bossa "We Share a Moon," he builds forms around unexpected rhythmic contours, pushing himself and the band well beyond the safe zone. He also gets tremendous results by leaving the groove loose, as on the opening "Aesop's Fables" and the longest piece, "Jigsaw." The latter comes to a rolling boil when Glasper, one of jazz's most promising young pianists, lays out and yields the floor to Greene's hell-raising tenor. But Pelt has a cooler, melodic side as well; he brings it out on "A Song for You" and the closing quartet ballad, "You Won't Forget Me." Cannon and Peterson, the session's veterans, provide a robust rhythmic engine without overshadowing Pelt's precocious musicianship. © David R. Adler /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 8, 2005 | Afrasia Productions