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A double whammy
on 27 November 2009
The album is split into two parts to seperate the Trio works (Tracks 1 to 6) from what Glasper calls "experiment"(Tracks 7 to 12). Both parts are prefaced by messages supposedly left on an answerphone reminding him that he's committed to doing two gigs, with two different groups on the same day.The first part shows what a splendid player Glasper is in a trio setting, as he powers his way through five originals and the Thelonious Monk track "Think of One". It's obvious that the trio made up by Vincente Archer on Bass and Chris Dave on drums are empathetic to what Glasper does, and it shows. I doubt that there's been a better example of this paino style recorded during 2009. Favourite from this tight set is " Downtime"
The second part of the album has Glasper retain drummer Dave, but brings in Derek Hodge on Electric Bass and Casey Benjamin on Saxes and Vocoder, together with vocalists Bilal(tracks 11 and 12) and Mos Def on Track 7 with Jah Sundance on turntables for "Open Mind". In some ways the contrast with the tightness of the first six tracks may be difficult to reconcile, but Glasper coaxes some excellent performances on not only his self written pieces (7 and 9) but also provides alternative views of tracks like Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly" and especially Derek Hodge's "Open Mind". I particularly like Glasper#'s extended workout on " Festival" and the version of "All matter".
Perhaps his next album ought to be a double set with expanded takes on both styles, but as a possible introduction to an emerging talent this is an excellent way to start.