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VINE VOICEon 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.
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VINE VOICEon 9 October 2010
Robert Glasper is probably the greatest jazz pianist of the early 21st century, and this record deservedly scooped the award for Jazz Album of the Year at Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards 2010.
The album starts off quite strait-laced, as Glasper plays more classic sounding jazz riffs with an acoustic jazz trio. Still, there's plenty of improvisation here, yet it's all held together by rich riffs and motifs.
The second half, prefaced by a brief answerphone message, is much more experimental. Glasper goes electric here, and there are elements of hip hop (Mos Def performs vocals on "4eva").
It's like jumping from Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage" straight into his legendary "Headhunters" album.
This second half, not that the first half is bad by any stretch of the imagination, is what makes the album a truly great one for me. Glasper is here taking the boundaries of jazz and pushing them, as Hancock did with Headhunters. There are a lot of vocals, and it's the vocal side of the record that draws it close to some of the great electronic acts - there are certainly sniffs of Kraftwerk, or more modern boundary breakers like Dam-Funk.
Still, I've never heard anything like the second half of this record anywhere else. The way Glasper puts everything together is the work of a master, and this will undoubtedly be recognised as one of the great jazz albums of all time in the not so distant future...the Gilles Peterson award is just the first step on the road to that acknowledgement.
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on 17 October 2013
Awesome Album as always, Robert Glasper shows his creativity and style thorough two very talented bands:
Robert Glasper Trio and Robert Glasper Experiment...
This is a must buy for jazz lovers!!!
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on 31 January 2011
A great CD. I heard Robert Glasper on one of the BBC jazz programmes and decided to get this CD on the strength of that.
There's much emphasis on this being a recording split between Glasper's jazz trio and his hip hop work. I'd say that in general I hate hip hop! I can't say I like every track of the hip hop stuff but it certainly doesn't spoil the CD. And the jazz trio tracks are so good that the CD is worth buying just for those.
What's it like? Very melodic piano, quite busy but not fussy or too flowery. Very solid bass and drums. Superbly recorded.
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on 27 July 2013
What Moore, can say about this guy, another well put together album, this guy should be worth his weight in gold!
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on 8 November 2014
Bad by CD by the great Robert Glasper
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on 9 August 2014
played the album to death
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on 13 November 2014
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