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Robert Glasper Leans Into the Drama

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The “Black Radio” collection, which Glasper described as a distillation of his model, made respiratory room for these influences. The primary album, launched in 2012, featured a number of of his neo-soul compatriots — Badu, Bilal, Musiq Soulchild — in addition to rapping from Lupe Fiasco and Bey, with covers of songs by David Bowie and Nirvana thrown in for good measure.

“Black Radio” earned Glasper his first Grammy Award (for finest R&B album) and set him on a collision course with widespread tradition not seen from a jazz musician this century. He performed piano on a number of tracks of Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album, “To Pimp a Butterfly,” launched a remix album with the home music producer Kaytranada and was recruited by the actor Don Cheadle to compose the rating for “Miles Forward,” a 2015 biopic of Miles Davis.

“He has that need to get to the following stage,” stated Widespread, who appeared on “Black Radio 2” (2013) and shaped the group August Greene with Glasper and the drummer/producer Karriem Riggins. “He needs to be the one that individuals will look to and say, ‘Yeah, he was the best of that point.’”

Final month, Glasper arrived at a recording studio in Downtown Brooklyn to work on his newest movie rating, for a documentary about Luther Vandross, one among his mom’s favourite artists. “The primary time I fell in love with acoustic piano wasn’t Duke Ellington, or Monk, or Herbie — it was Luther,” he stated, crediting Nat Adderley Jr., Vandross’s longtime pianist and arranger. His giant body was draped in a black T-shirt with a portrait of Dilla, whose idiosyncratic manufacturing fashion impressed a technology of hip-hop and jazz musicians earlier than and after his loss of life in 2006.

“Watching him work modified the best way I play,” Glasper stated.

A few days after the session, Glasper would fly to Johannesburg for practically two weeks to play competition dates. He’s additionally engaged on a Christmas EP and composing one other movie rating, for a documentary about Billy Preston. On Wednesday, again in New York, he started his annual, monthlong residency at the Blue Note Jazz club, colloquially often known as “Robtoberfest.” The residency (and a related festival in Napa Valley) unites his prolonged universe of pals and forebears in a single setting. It has turn into identified for drawing A-list shock performers (Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock are followers) and, this 12 months, will combine tributes to giants like Herbie Hancock and Artwork Blakey with featured performances from Bey, Norah Jones, Yebba, D Smoke, Terrace Martin and Kamasi Washington, amongst others.