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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG
Jazz for the new millennium - excellently done! Someone here said their mother was 55 and didn't think the drumbeats appropriate for jazz. Well I'm 56 and I think everything about this cd is slammin! It harkens back to the progressive jazz days when guys like Lonnie Listen Smith, Roy Ayers, and George Duke were doing some amazing things. There's always been a dispute...
Published on March 3, 2012 by Capital K

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trying Hard to be different
I think that this is a pretty solid cd. Musically it left a little to be desired for me. I also think that he did not get everything out of the stars that he has performing with him. I have not listened to this as much as I anticipated based upon the star power and the reviews. Maybe its early and will need to grow on me.
Published 20 months ago by Ben


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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG, March 3, 2012
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Capital K (Baltimore, Maryland United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black Radio (MP3 Music)
Jazz for the new millennium - excellently done! Someone here said their mother was 55 and didn't think the drumbeats appropriate for jazz. Well I'm 56 and I think everything about this cd is slammin! It harkens back to the progressive jazz days when guys like Lonnie Listen Smith, Roy Ayers, and George Duke were doing some amazing things. There's always been a dispute between jazz purists and jazz progressives. Miles Davis made a progressive album (Man With The Horn) and you would've thought the universe had turned upside down. Good music is good music, and this cd is some seriously good music.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The F.M. Dial to Beautiful Music!, February 28, 2012
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LuKasAV6 (Longview, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black Radio (Audio CD)
There was wonderful renaissance of neo-soul music that peaked in the 90s and was a wonderful soundtrack for the lives of urban contemporary music lovers. Robert Glasper is undoubtedly and purely inspired by the music of that era. A hybrid of soft jazz, hip-hop, and R&B, Black Radio is the soul music lover's 'Hearts of Space' odyssey. It is the F.M. dial to beautiful music that I could not recommend more highly.

He has drawn in some of the most respected musicians (Lalah Hathaway, Lupe Fiasco, Erykah Badu, Ledisi, Bilal to name a few) to contribute their talents to what will be one of my favorite albums this year. I hate to highlight any songs in particular because the entire album is consistently wonderful from beginning to end - so I won't.

It's intriguing that two of my favorite musicians, Robert Glasper and Esperanza Spalding, are releasing CDs this year with the word 'radio' in the albums' titles. (Esperanza's CD is entitled 'Radio Music Society'). With so much music becoming popular based on spectacle and ridiculous antics (as he touches upon at the end of "Gonna Be Alright"), it's refreshing and reassuring that artists like these are keeping the focus on musicianship. Black Radio is Robert Glasper at his best!
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Experimentation For Meditation", February 28, 2012
This review is from: Black Radio (Audio CD)
I've always had an admiration of artists who attempt to cross the boundaries of their genre and venture out of their comfort zone to indulge in something new and exciting, not only for them but for their audience as well. This admiration is punctuated by the fact that not everyone who does this is successful at it. In fact, in my experience I've seen more failures and mediocre offerings then I have anything else (see The Hip Hop Violinist [Explicit]). That being said, Robert Glasper's Black Radio has definitely taken its place among the ranks of high quality music.

Being new to Robert Glasper, I admit that I was drawn in by the promise of the plethora of guest appearances by familiar faces, such as Musiq Soul Child, Lela Hathaway, Lupe Fiasco, Yassin Bey (aka Mos Def), Erykah Badu, Ledisi, and Bilal. Fortunately, I found that Glasper's ability to tastefully spread out the various talents found on this project is worthy of praise. With twelve different guest artists on an album, it can easily start to feel crowded like there's too much going on at once. Instead, what we're given as the final product is a euphoric blend of Jazz, Neo-Soul and Hip Hop that I can cool out to in the car with my speakers up, or vibe to at a live performance.

Each song seemed to be tailored (and most likely was) to the individual artists that appeared on them, but still making it very clear in its sound that this was Robert Glasper's album, not a compilation of sounds taken from different places. The integrity of Glasper's work is never compromised of overshadowed by any of the guest artists, only accentuated by energy their voices bring to each track. From beginning to end, it feels like listening to a live set that you don't want to leave your seat for.

Being primarily a Hip Hop head, I was particularly interested in how Lupe and Mos Def would be incorporated into the music, since both have stepped into the realms beyond their genre's as well. Thankfully, their presence was utilized well, making their performances sound genuinely organic. I found Mos's track "Black Radio" especially interesting, as he seemed very much at home from what I've heard from him in past works (see New Danger which is full of examples). Staying true to the idea of this being an "experiment," both Mos and the intstrumentation fly off in the the stratosphere playing off each other with varying tempos and vocal play from Mos himself that I find hard to describe in any other way but "interesting." By no means is it a bad thing, just worthy of note, and clearly he makes the track his own.

Overall, Black Radio is a solid body of work, fluid in its composition yet bold enough to make you stay and listen. Robert Glasper, despite being labeled simply as a Jazz musician, has successfully achieved crossing genre's and bringing different elements back to his own realm, giving us new and unique music to enjoy that will not disapoint. Having been thoroughly impressed by his latest work, I'll definitely be checking out his earlier stuff as well, and I'd encourage anyone else to do the same. Enjoy.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Black Radio' - The only thing to survive the crash in the quality of recent music, February 28, 2012
This review is from: Black Radio (MP3 Music)
I received a review copy of this album a while ago, and have been highly recommending it ever since!

Robert Glasper is one of those rare musicians with the uncanny ability to see beyond what has been done and get straight to the heart of what is possible. He was once described as "one of the most promising Jazz pianists for a generation", and this album sees him enter a class of his own!

'Black Radio' represents a "a true crossover record", as Glasper himself put it. It's an amalgam of all the Jazz, Gospel, Soul, and Hip Hop traditions Glasper was raised in. With his Experiment band Casey Benjamin (Sax), Derrick Hodge (Bass), and Chris Dave (Drums), Glasper's `Black Radio' represents a clear progression from his fragmented 2009 offering `Double Booked', which saw half an album dedicated to Jazz and half to Hip Hop. These half-hearted attempts to incorporate Hip Hop into his music appear to be a thing of the past as he embraces all of his influences for his third Blue Note offering, which is sure to serve as an example of how Jazz/Hip Hop crossover should be done.

Glasper and his cohort are individuals pigeon-holed as `Jazz Musicians' that have now proven their reach beyond that or any other Genre. Tasteful isn't a word that can be used to describe many cross-over albums, but it is perfect in this case. Concessions are made in all the right places to ensure that perceptions and expectations are thrown out of the window in favor of the only thing that matters - The quality of The Music.

More Here: [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eclectic mix of musical styles, May 15, 2013
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This review is from: Black Radio (Audio CD)
I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered this CD earlier this year. I'd read the rave reviews and was intrigued, but I'd never heard anything by Glasper previously, and I'm not much of a hip-hop fan. But I love the old Blue Note jazz albums and am a huge fan of 60s and 70s soul, totally worship genre-bending artists like Gil Scott-Heron, as well listen to tons of pop and rock music. So, I have pretty broad tastes in music and thought: why not take a chance on this one? Well, I don't love it all, but I like the mix of musical styles and the daring way that Glasper presents everything on this album. To my ears there's not much jazz on here, but then again that depends on how you define the genre. Instead, this is like an urban music buffet: a bit of hip-hop, some jazz touches, a lot of soul grooves, and a bit of rock (he does some interesting covers of songs by David Bowie and Nirvana, as well as jazzier tunes by Sade and Mongo Santamaria). At times, Glasper's piano is unneccessarly buried under a wall of beats and vocals, but other times, his subtle riffs are easier to hear, and appreciate. Favorites on this CD include the lovely "Cherish the Day," the soaring "Why Do We Try" with vocals by Stokley, and the clever cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Listen to this album with an open mind and you'll find these songs becoming part of your soul. Quite impressive
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars four stars?, April 9, 2013
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This review is from: Black Radio (Audio CD)
Okay this is a great albulm, however, There are certain songs that are completly ruined by the annoying talking sessions at the end of the song, it completly kills the groove. They should have put the speaking sessions as seperate tracks. After the first time of hearing the sessions, it is enough. If you put your favorite song on repeat, you have to hear them talking at the end of the song.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, Not Jazz, It's GREAT Neosoul, March 25, 2012
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This review is from: Black Radio (MP3 Music)
This is a beautiful album, no question. I love it! But, it has been mis-categorized as jazz. It is not jazz. Why can't a great jazz musician like Robert Glasper cross over and get paid every so often? Herbie Hancock did it, as did Miles, and many other great ones. There are a few cuts where he hints at his prowess as a great jazz improvisor, but that still doesn't make this album jazz. You could even go so far as to say that he teaches a little bit about jazz to a more mainstream audience with cuts like the jazzy rendition of Afro Blue with my girl Erykah Badu on the mic. Maybe some will listen to this lovely work of art and use it as a stepping stone to real jazz. This is a beautiful album, something to chill out to and I hope Robert makes enough on it to return to the unrewarding career of a jazz musician. Kudos to you, Robert, but don't forget to come home.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BlackAmarillo.com Review, May 21, 2012
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This review is from: Black Radio (Audio CD)
Robert Glasper a Jazz Pianist from Houston. Tx released his 5th project "Black Radio" properly named the Robert Glasper Experiment with Derrick Hodge- Bass, Chris Dave- Drums, Casey Benjamin- Sax, flute & Vocoder & Robert Glasper on Piano.

This 12 song experimental project is a fusion of Jazz mixed with Hip-Hop, Soul(Neo), R&B, Poetic Rap & old school electric Jazz all rolled in one with featured guests: Erykah Badu, Lalah Hathaway, Musiq Soulchild, Bilal, Chrisette Michele, Stokley, Ledisi, Lupe Fiasco, Meshell Ndegeocello, King, etc.

Many of the songs on this project are remakes but the creativity are awesome like Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue" f/ Erykah Badu, Sade's "Cherish The Day" f/ Lalah Hathaway, David Bowie's "Letter To Hermione" f/ Bilal & Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

My personal favorites are "Ah Yeah" f/ Musiq Soulchild And Chrisette Michele, "Gonna Be Alright" (F.T.B.) f/ Ledisi, "Move Love" f/ King, & The Consequences Of Jealousy f/ Meshell Ndegeocello.

Honestly, This project is really nothing that hasn't been done before actually it reminds me of the Jazzmatazz projects that was done by the late "Guru" of Gang Starr in 1993 but the first innovator of this style of music began with Miles Davis.

In 1991 right before his death Miles Davis was experimenting with Jazz & Hip-Hop working with Easy Mo Bee on the "Doo-Bop" project and many Jazz fans downplayed it because they said "THAT'S NOT JAZZ!" but they said the same thing back in 1969 when Miles released "Bitches Brew" and we ALL know Miles Davis was a true Jazz innovator and the way I see it the Robert Glasper Experiment is just another innovation of Miles Davis.

I really like this project because of the live instrumentation and the arrangement & flow of songs.
REAL musicians playing REAL instruments but not everyone will feel this project just those who are musically mature and diverse also catch Robert Glasper Experiment live in a city near you or youtube him.
You WILL NOT be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Short of Excellence Epitomized - 4 ˝ Stars!, February 14, 2013
This review is from: Black Radio (Audio CD)
The Robert Glasper Experiment hit a big-time home run with Black Radio, an album that fuses jazz, R&B/soul, and hip-hop. The Robert Glasper Experiment itself is comprised of Glasper (Rhodes, piano), Casey Benjamin (flute, sax, vocoder), Derrick Hodges (electric bass), and Chris Dave (drums). Glasper himself is hailed as one of today's preeminent jazz pianists, who also has a great love for urban music. Glasper has toured with Maxwell and contributed keyboard work on Bilal's Grammy-nominated "All Matter", from album Airtight's Revenge. All said, every song on Black Radio, an album released just shy of a year ago, has a story, possesses abstractions, and experimental tendencies. A year after purchasing and listening gradually, if inconsistently, there is no question why Glasper easily locked up a Grammy win for Best R&B Album at the 55th Grammy Awards February 10th, 2013.

"Lift Off/Mic Check" opens the effort playing up the jazz aspects, featuring angularity and changes of groove and time signature. Shafiq Husayn provides narration, setting up the premise of the experimental effort. The second half of the cut, "Mic Check", features Erykah Badu and the members of The Experiment testing the mic as suggested ahead of "Afro Blue". Why that's a big deal? The approach of the testing can be likened to jazz soloists shedding , which adds to the authenticity.

"Afro Blue" features Erykah Badu in top form, honing in on her inner Billie Holiday. Casey Benjamin's flute as well as Glasper's EP complements Badu superbly. On "Cherish The Day", guest Lalah Hathaway's rich, sultry alto captivates. Throughout, Glasper accentuates the cut with thoughtful minimalistic lines and ideas on piano, while Benjamin compels on saxophone. A neo-soul/hip-hop merge comes together on the exceptional "Always Shine" in which Lupe Fiasco easily spits atop an urban-jazz groove. Bilal caps things off with his typical rich, soulful vocals on the hook. As always, the Experiment holds things down, serving as both an excellent backdrop and as a creative force, be it Glasper's piano lines, Hodges's buttressing bass, or Dave's melodic treatment of drum set.

On "Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)", Glasper takes a cut entitled "F.T.B." from album In My Element and combines it with lyrics penned and sung by R&B standout Ledisi. The results are smooth jazz and urban music at their finest, even garnering the track a Grammy nomination for R&B performance. King guests on the sensual "Move Love", featuring some distinguished piano improvisations by Glasper, particularly at the end as the cut fades. On "Ah Yeah", Glasper brings together two of R&B's finest in Musiq Soulchild and Chrisette Michele. The chemistry, as expected, is simply ridiculous with Musiq honing in on his low register and Michelle sounding like a mix between Billie Holliday and Sarah Vaughn. As always, Glasper lends his voice through excellent pianistic improvisations.

"The Consequences of Jealousy" features Me'Shell Ndegéocello in arguably the effort's most alt-R&B contribution. Dark and mysterious, "The Consequences of Jealousy" sounds very much like a tone poem towards the message suggested by its title. "Why Do We Try" brings in Mint Condition's Stokely Williams, who doesn't dare disappoint vocally. Even so, Casey Benjamin's vocoder might steal the show, collaborating alongside Williams capably. Add adventurous playing by Glasper - displacing rhythms against the groove established by bass and drums - and you have a crowing achievement by all means.

"Black Radio" may have a hard act to follow, but it does so capably. Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) guests here both rapping and singing. Mos Def is the perfect collaborator for Glasper and company, given his dabbling in jazz-rap and alt-rap in his storied past career. The final cuts are rock covers; "Letter to Hermione" (David Bowie) and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Nirvana). Bilal guests on "Letter to Hermione" which features Casey Benjamin on flute. Casey Benjamin takes the spotlight on the most unique cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" you may ever hear, using vocoder.

Ultimately, Black Radio is a masterpiece. The cast is well assembled and the musicianship is nothing short of both alluring and exceptional. There are no misses and no holes in this set. Had this album not been acknowledged at the Grammys, that would've been the travesty. 4 ˝ enthusiastic stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lover of Real Music, December 14, 2012
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This review is from: Black Radio (MP3 Music)
I feel the rhythm in my soul... The creative sounds of Mr. Glasper and the collaborative work of many fantastic Artist... this album is worth every cent I purchased it for...
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Black Radio
Black Radio by Robert Glasper (Audio CD - 2012)
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