CD of the Week: ROBERT GLASPER EXPERIMENT "Black Radio"
Robert Glasper Experiment “Black Radio” (Blue Note Records/EMI) is 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 Casey Benjamin, bassist Derrick Hodge, and drummer Chris Dave—Black 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, Mos Def, Musiq Soulchild, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Stokley Williams (Mint Condition).
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 Erykah Badu, Sade’s “Cherish The Day” with Lalah Hathaway, David Bowie’s “Letter to Hermione” with Bilal, and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with Casey 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, Mos Def 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 Mos Def)
11 Letter to Hermoine (featuring Bilal)
12 Smells Like Teen Spirit