So around last summer I took to my twitter(@AllenYork) and asked my followers about the Jazz they were interested in. After a couple of legends were mentioned, I saw the name ‘Robert Glasper’ thrown around a couple times. Immediately went to YouTube, and I remember vividly the first song I heard was ‘Eryka Badu – Afro Blue’ which captivated me immediately. Turns out that Mr. Glasper and co were readying a release of their album ‘Black Radio’. Upon reading the tracklist, I was skeptical about how the jazz/ hip hop/R and B fusion would sound, but much to my pleasure, it was quite perfect. I also had the same worries when I went to see them live. I mean, normally when an act has so many features on their album, the live show comes up short when they can’t deliver those acts in person.
Well, at SOBs, on January 13th, I could not be more wrong. Robert and the band delivered a flawless set and I would even say it’s one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended. The band was as bad as could be, and you could not help but to be marveled by the execution and on-the-fly play off of each other. Looking at the stage, you could tell they we’re even in aw of each other, as if this was their first time playing together. Not only did the band do sets off of their Grammy nominated album ‘Black Radio’ they also did covers of songs like ‘Hey Ya’ and ‘No Church in the wild’, which drove the crowd crazy. They also did a J Dilla/Nirvana mash up, which drove ME crazy.
To my previous point, there was one guy in the crowd that yelled ‘WHERES THE FRIENDS?’( in reference to the lack of guest appearances on the first set), in which Robert responded ‘Friends? This ain’t Myspace’. Way to take the tension in the air and turn it into laughter. Prior to the heckler, the set was so good you forgot about the recruited talent that made ‘Black Radio’ so great, and realized it was the other way around.
For the record: There was 2 sets, I attended the first, Robert did hint their might be a special guest in the second set.
From album cuts such as ‘Ah Yea’ ‘Cherish The Day’ and the title track, to the solo sets of each band member, the set was breathtaking, and I recommend everyone to experience, The Robert Glasper Experiment live.
Til next time, peace.