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Bebop Spoken There

Dayna Stephens: "I always tell them [students] there will never be anyone who will play it [EWI] as technically proficient as this cat [Michael Brecker] did." - (JazzTimes June 2019).


Today Tuesday June 25



Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.


Jam Session - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, 59 Westgate Rd., Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel. 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free. Trio Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Monday, March 05, 2012

CD Review: Robert Glasper Experiment - Black Radio

Robert Glasper (Pno/Rhodes), Casey Benjamin (Sax/Fl/Vocoder), Derrick Hodge (Bs), Chris Dave (Dms) + Special Guests.
After seeing him live with his trio at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival in 2008, I wanted to head back to the shed and practice even harder to get to those level of chops and flexibility to adapt to any time. Nevertheless, I'm getting there!
Robert Glasper releases his definable energy time after time. This record is an opportunity to show the 'young' uns' that jazz is still hip, cool and modern. My first impression was that this is a pop record; collaborations with different vocalists and rappers with their own unique sound and message. Hip Hop is core to Glasper's life since attending the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music (New York City) and subsequently becoming close friends with singer Bilal.
This record was pleasurable from start to finish. It never lost it's subtlety or groove. BLACK RADIO is about love, happiness and hope, not gangs and guns. Opening with an atmospheric 6/8 groove and sound effects reflecting the title of the album; consequently, giving one the impression they are listening to the radio. "All you need is your ears and your soul". I think this means 'sit back, relax and enjoy the show'. Glasper plays in the bacground, echoing Ahmad Jamal and Sam Rivers.
Strict hip hop beats dominate the album; tightly knit by Chris Daves - one of the most versatile and reputable musicians out there today. Derrick Hodge does a great job of giving the drums the kick it needs to make the beats perfect, and holding Glasper's stack of notes. The standout song for me was "Afro Blue", featuring Erykah Badu on vocals. Her distinctive voice sounds gentle but in no way is it fragile. I admired the flute closing Badu's sentences during the verse and Glasper's fills did not spoil Erykah delicacy, but in many ways supporting it. Another standout was Casey Benjamin's sax solo at the end of "Cherish The Day". It provided a contrast to the simple, diatonic melody of the song; double timing and chromatism. Finally, Glasper's rain of quintuplets during the chorus of "It's Gonna Be Alright" was heart fluttering!
Harley Johnson. 

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