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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

GIJF Day One - Robert Glasper Experiment.

Robert Glasper keyboards, Derrick Hodge  bass, Mark Colenburg drums, Casey Benjamin vocoder and saxophone.
(Review by Steve H.)
Having read a review of the London Hammersmith Apollo gig  where several renowned soul singers (Laura Mvulva, Emelie Sande, Raheem DeVaughn) joined  Mr Glasper on stage, I was nervous that this gig was going to turn out to be more R&B than Jazz/Hip Hop. I need not have  worried, Sage Two provided a wonderful arena for this powerful and exciting concert.
The versatile Benjamin excelled on both Saxophone and vocoder, Hodge laid down some great bass grooves whilst drummer Colenburg drove proceedings with brutal ferocious power. Overseeing them all was the magnificent band leader Glasper who not only displayed a sense of humour musically by playing little spoofs of well known popular numbers on the keyboards but also laughed out loud and then said  ‘that was the most honest thing I have ever heard’ in response to an audience member shouting back ‘No’  to Glasper’s question about who had heard of the album Double Booked which was the album previous to Black Radio which in turn is the album prior to his latest album Black Radio 2.  This late night gig was an unabated and exhilarating joy from start to finish and the only downside was that it didn’t go on all night.
Steve H.

1 comment :

Michael Lamb said...

Thanks Lance. I think this is one of the most engaging gigs I've ever been to! The musicianship that these guys displayed was amazing in both performance and composition. The four elements on stage totally clicked. Mark Colenberg surely worked the hardest(?!) - I've never seen grooves played so fast for such a long time! Some of the hi-lights for me were the covers of Bill Withers' 'Lovely Day' and Nivarna's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' - brilliant harmonisations paired with that chilled hip-hop/ jazz fusion groove and with Casey Banjamin's smooth effected vocals.

I had only been a Robert Glasper 'YouTuber', but have now ordered his back catalogue of recordings! If the heavier hip-hop/ R&B fusion stuff isn't your thing, then check out his piano trio. A good place to start might be 'Double Booked' - it gives half a disc over to the Trio and the other half to the Experiment... best of both! (Michael Lamb)

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