Tuesday, September 23, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Robert Glasper Experiment

Artist:Robert Glasper Experiment f/Bilal
Song:Letter To Hermione
Album:Black Radio

Jazz pianist Robert Glasper made a very successful foray into R & B with the 2012 CD Black Radio. After winning a Grammy and reaching the Billboard Hot 200 top twenty, he seems to have abandoned jazz. I think he is doing a very good job of mixing jazz and R & B but maybe he needs to cool it with the guest vocalists. He was born Apr. 6, 1978 in Houston. His mom was a jazz singer and took him to gigs. And Glasper grew up playing piano in church. He attended the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. It was here that he met R & B singer Bilal Oliver and they have worked together frequently. It got Glasper into working with R & B artists and he toured with Maxwell in 2009. Glasper signed with Blue Note in 2005. His first three albums were mostly jazz. But he says he got bored with jazz and went whole hog R & B with the 2012 CD Black Radio. The album was very successful. It reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 200 and it won the Best R & B Album Grammy. The band is Glasper's usual band of Casey Benjamin on vocoder, Derrick Hodge on bass and Chris Dave on drums. But there are guest vocalists on most songs including Glasper's old buddy Bilal. Letter To Hermione is an obscure David Bowie song from Space Oddity. Other guest vocalists include Erykah Badu, Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi, Musiq Soulchild and Chrisette Michele. Glasper continued this approach with the 2013 CD Black Radio 2. I saw him a few months ago opening for Ledisi and none of these singers tour with him. Casey Benjamin sort of sings but he isn't really a singer. But it doesn't seem to concern Glasper. He will tour Europe in October. Glasper is a very talented guy who likes to experiment. I'm concerned he might get stuck in a rut to feed commercial success. Here's the video for Letter To Hermione by Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Bilal.

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