Sep 23, 2009
I’ve blogger before about the intersection of hip-hop and jazz among some of the more adventurous African-American musicians on the scene today. Robert Glasper’s latest release, Double-Booked, attempts to blur the line between the two genres by producing a recording in two parts, one by a straight-ahead trio and the other by the electric “Robert Glasper Experiment”.
The first half of the record shows why Glasper is rapidly becoming one of the finest pianist on the scene. Along with bassist Vincente Archer and drummer Chris Dave, Glasper creates elegant trio music, making classic’s like Monk’s “Think of One” sound fresh, and originals like “Yes I’m Country (And That’s OK)” seem like songs you want to hear again and again.
Glasper is less successful in the mish-mash that is the second half of the album. The Experiment swerves between jazz-funk, hip-hop and soul ballads, with a lack of direction that makes it seem – well, experimental. I look forward to when Glasper collaborates with a hip-hop producer or DJ who can turn his ideas into something more concrete and exciting. Perhaps the great jazz hip-hop album we’ve been waiting for is just around the corner.