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Black Radio Import
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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!
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.Read more ›
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love the diverse artist compilations!!! A mix of artists and styles! Love it!Published 4 months ago by Raquel
Amazing Album! This album is a beautiful lend of soul, jazz, and a little sprinkle of hip hop. Love it. Perfect for background music when folks come over. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mega Matt
Well, in Aussie, Black Radio, & BR2 are exceedingly hard to source even in cd. I bought the last of each recently. So always being vinyl crazy I am overjoyed that Amazon had them. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Terry Ross