i think it was two or three years ago when i was going through my facebook newsfeed and saw a post from one of my cousins. it was a youtube clip of an artist named robert glasper. being the music snob that i am (admittedly), i decided to check out the video. truthfully, i was open but expecting an epic fail. i was totally wrong. what i heard massaged my ears so much that i couldn’t believe what i was listening to. the song was called f.t.b. and it was from glasper’s in my element album
the original (below) and a live version.
who in the world was this guy? where did he come from? better yet, where could i get more of this?!?
i have always loved jazz, but this jazz spoke to me in a different way. not that other jazz, from the likes of coltrane or ellington, didn’t speak to me. it’s just that it met me where i was at. i’m a buppie. i listen to hip hop, r&b, jazz, alternative, metal, country, disco, funk…and have such varied playlists to prove it. my ipod is like the united nations of music. it was as though glasper was cut from the same cloth as me. i got this dude. like for real.
not long after that, i went on iTunes and listened to every album he made and bought every one. this is so rare for me. i am such a picky listener that i often say that iTunes was the worst thing that could have ever been given to me. buying by the track? i no longer need to buy the whole album? what?!? lol i hardly ever buy full albums anymore because music has become so mediocre and spacey. i feel like everybody is trying to do v12 of justin timberlake’s futuresexlovesounds or like pit bull, akon, ne-yo, drake, or lil wayne is featured on every song. there are only so many ways we can crank that or come over to my house so you can strip. can you actually play any instruments, or do more talking with the instruments than you do with your mouth? done. boo. Lol the hubs always complains about how much of a music snob i am. i just have very specific taste, that’s all. Lol
a sampling of his latest album, black radio, which was released in feb 2012. this vid also features him talking about the project in general.
a little more about him. he’s a Houstonian. late 70’s baby. went to the new school of music, which is where he met artist bilal oliver. influenced by his mother who was also a pianist. he’s worked with artists such as q-tip, meshell ndegeocello, kanye west, ali shaheed muhammad (a tribe called quest), and terence blanchard. when I saw him in san francisco last year at the san francisco jazz festival, he had a preshow talk where he mentioned that he actually tested out of his coursework at the new school. dude, how talented are you? Lol
my favorite song by him, to date. i remember (canvas, october 2005)
so, what is it that I like so much about him? his improvisation is bananas. every song is like a well choreographed and well executed dance. right when you think it can’t get any better, like gregory hines, savion glover, or alvin ailey, he comes and knocks you out again artistically. his unique blend of r&b, jazz, and sometimes alternative and rock is what makes him a timeless artist. to me, he’s like the matthew jordan smith of the jazz world. quietly taking things by storm until one day you notice, “hey, that guy’s really good.” Lol
don’t even get me started on the other members of his trio, like his drummer, chris dave, who to me, is the best drummer out there, bar none. he needs to be offering lessons on a tv channel all day, er’day. Lol his bass players, vicente archer and derrick hodge. i just want to pop all of them lol
i have tried to turn everyone I know onto glasper. i think i’ve garnered him AT LEAST another 20 fans from my friend base. i’m hoping I can do the same with this post. he is the future of music to me. i’m all about sharing what i know and love. and robert glasper is one of those things 🙂
some of my other faves. it was SO hard to pick.
- tribute (in my element, march 2007 )
this is genius. in this track, he wove his mother’s eulogy into the song.
- no worries (double booked, august 2009 )
the piano intro is sick. the groove is sick. well, the whole song is ridic!
- enoch’s (inaugural) meditation (original on canvas, october 2005)
this song was adapted from the original to commemorate the inauguration of president obama. i love this one and the original just the same.
- yes, I’m country (and that’s ok) (double booked, august 2009)
the hubs fave by him. one of mine too.
- all matter (double booked, august 2009 )
bilal + glasper = magic, period
- you by q-tip (the renaissance, 2008)
rob is playing the keys on this one. you’ve got one of my fave mc’s with glasper? Lord, I love you! lol
- afro blue (black radio, february 2012)
this is a remake featuring erykah badu. perfect voice for this.
to purchase and preview all of his work, head on over to iTunes.