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The Robert Glasper Experiment at SXSW

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

The Elephant Room on Congress Avenue was a tiny, phone signal-blocking cellar with hardly enough elbow room to get a decent drinking form down and enough blocked sightlines to give Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie from that movie Wanted (Remember that movie a couple years ago? That movie with the curving of the bullets? That was pretty dope.) some problems. The sound was glitchy. The sound guy was a touch inept, even after the advice of many in the crowd (including Chicago pianist Josh Moshier who was in attendance). Robert Glasper seemed to wait an eternity for his vodka and cranberry juice. The prior act was atrocious and saw no reprieve of shade from my compatriots. It's just the kind of ragtag show one would expect from the largest music festival in the country. The great acts here either make the best of the few shows they have or perform so often over the course of the four days of the music festival that their frequency overpowers the ramshackle nature of the venues. The Robert Glasper Experiment had just one shot to pull their official SXSW show off on the night of March 15th, and their performance likely set a new high bar for the greatness that comes from this festival.

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Robert Glasper Experiment - "Always Shine" feat. Lupe Fiasco and Bilal on Letterman (Video)

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Did you catch Robert Glasper and the Experiment on Letterman last night? If not, we've got the video of their performance right here. For this performance, the Experiment consists of Glasper on keys, Derrick Hodge on bass, Casey Benjamin on vocoder and vocals, and Mark Colenberg on drums (quite adeptly sitting in for Experiment regular Chris "Daddy" Dave). Check it out.

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For Your Consideration: Robert Glasper Experiment's 'Black Radio'

Alexander Brown
Contributing Writer
alexanderparisbrown@gmail.com / @relaxandaspire

Jazz listeners of all stripes really don’t need a treatise on why the Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio is worth picking up. If you haven’t read or seen an interview of Robert Glasper, listened to select tracks or the entire album, or seen live performances of several of the albums’ songs this month, you’ve gone media autistic. Instead I want to address everyone else who only “kind of listens to jazz, you know, like when I’m studying”; so if every jazz enthusiast would kindly direct their nearest iffy jazz listening friend to this page it would be greatly appreciated.

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Robert Glasper Experiment Bootleg Out Now

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Have you gotten around to listening to the Robert Glasper Experiment's new album, Black Radio, at NPR First Listen yet? You've still got a few days left. A great companion to your Black Radio stream is this mix compiled by Frolab that Okayplayer tracked down.

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Relevant to His Time: An Interview with Robert Glasper

Jon Wertheim
Staff Writer
jon.wertheim@gmail.com / @rtbjazz

Some conversations bore me. Some don’t. But few are interesting enough that I’ll sit hunched over a cell phone for fifteen minutes, holding a microphone up to the earpiece, and then spend half an hour trying to decipher the grainy voice on the tape for just a few pages of type. This one was.

We could have just written a review of Robert Glasper’s new album, Black Radio, recorded for Blue Note with his Experiment (and a series of distinguished guests including Erykah Badu, Musiq [Soulchild], Ledisi, Lupe Fiasco, Yasiin Bey [ Mos Def], and others). But Glasper has a strong voice, and not just on the piano, so we decided to let him speak for himself about the thoughts that occupy the mind behind the record.