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Covered (The Robert Glasper Trio Recorded Live At Capitol Studios)

4.3 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 16, 2015
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Editorial Reviews

Following the breakthrough commercial and critical success of his two GRAMMY-winning R&B-oriented Black Radio albums, Robert Glasper returns to his acoustic jazz roots with Covered (The Robert Glasper Trio recorded live at Capitol Studios). The album reunites Glasper with bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid, reforming the trio that created his first two Blue Notes releases, Canvas (2005) and In My Element (2007).
Covered, which was recorded before an intimate gathering of invited guests in Capitol Records' historic Studio A, features songs by hip-hop and R&B stars like Kendrick Lamar, Musiq Soulchild, John Legend, and Bilal alongside the jazz standard
''Stella By Starlight.'' Displaying his trademark eclecticism, Glasper also includes tunes by Radiohead and Joni Mitchell, along with a stirring collaboration with legendary singer/activist Harry Belafonte and two Glasper originals.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 16, 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B00V5J1JLO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,649 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Vinyl
I'm a HUGE Robert Glasper fan - have all his trio stuff. The opening few bars of Rise on Shine on his CD Canvas is some of the best stuff out there and separates Glasper from his darker playing contemporaries. Glasper plays with such hope and optimism that I was really looking forward to this release. And, in fact, his trio is in top performance here and the music is really good. But I must agree with another reviewer about the atrocious recording quality of this CD. The bass drum dominates the sound from start to finish. So intrusive is the recording on the bass pedal that the fine work of Vicente Archer on the bass is utterly lost. I didn't buy the CD here, but in hi definition and I am actually going to ask for a refund. It's just a horrible, horrible recording and I would think Glasper would have caught this and fixed it. It's entirely too bad. This would have been another great RGT CD.
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I bought this strictly for Glasper's cover of "So Beautiful," but I do like the rest of the disc. It's good piano music. "Reckoner," "The Worst," "Levels" are all worthy; however, my gripe with Mr. Glasper is that much of his recent music is starting to sound alike. Ease up on those familiar chords, Mr. Glasper, and give us something fresh next time.
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Format: Audio CD
Unlike some reviewers, I don't find the recording quality a problem here. I'm happy to hear Robert Glasper back in a trio and laying down grooves that can turn your evening commute into a sumptuous daydream. But this isn't a convincing live album. Few genres harness the possibilities of the live album (not to mention composition, improvisation, etc.,) quite like jazz, but instead of hearing what kind of set Glasper can compose over roughly an hour, we get a major label hodgepodge of untampered-with live tracks ("Barangrill", "I Don't Even Care") mixed with performances that seem to be cut into rotation without audience involvement. The cover of Radiohead's "Reckoner", for example, is primed for crossover airplay, complete with studio fade-out and absent audience. Don't get me wrong, "Reckoner" is lovely, as is "So Beautiful", "Good Morning" and a handful of other tracks. But the lack of consistency strikes me as a case of major label meddling, where the end result feels unloved, tossed together. (It isn't all Capitol Records' fault; Glasper seems to confuse even his bandmates with the shrill and forgettable "In Case You Forgot", which clocks in at a skip-ready 13 minutes.)

In spite of all of this hopping in and out of the live format, Covered stands by probably the live album's worst tendency: stage banter. I'm a huge fan of Glasper's music but his dialogue between songs is lifeless and, upon further listens, instantly annoying. I'm a front-to-back album guy but my advice in this case runs contrary: download the best tracks and create your own concert. It seems like that's what Capitol did, anyway.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
“Covered” is on the extended lineage of “Black Radio.” Diamond Reid’s unique rhythm and accent will nail you on the first tune, “I Don’t Even Care.” Trio members hardly seems to be cooperative, but they amazingly fuse into a beautiful harmony. “Reckoner” is a familiar Black Radio world. How beautifully and sweetly Robert Glasper describes his world. Selecting Joni Mitchell’s “Barangrill” indicates his tastes for mysterious, psychic world. The beginning of “In Case You Forgot” is like listening a free style music. Vicente Archer and Reid are given ample space here. “Levels” becomes one of favorite tracks in this album. Glasper never forget to show his stance as a colored. Listen to “Got Over,” and “I’m Dying Of Thirst.” They become strong messages themselves which reject any comments. An album cover, a collage designed by Hayden Miller, is very cool!
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Format: Audio CD
After the success of his records Black Radio Volume 1 and 2, Glasper come back to the acoustic world. It not a classic trio album, is different , is jazz but in a very personal way. The trio is excellent, Vicente Archer on bas and the incredible Damion Reid on drums, was recorded life in the famous Capitol studios with this usual musicians in his previous trio albums. He play songs of Radiohead, Joni Mitchell , John Legend … and his own compositions, but ant the end is the same, the sound is the Glasper sounds. He is a great piano player but for me is more important that is completely different to the rest of the piano player. A exceptional live album. Is not a straight jazz album, is the way how Robert Glasper feel the music.
PS. Very emotive the collaboration of Harry Belafonte
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The good - I'm a huge RG fan when he does the traditional jazz stuff. His albums - In My Element, Double Booked and Canvas - stay on constant rotation. To be included in the same playlist on my ipod with Joe Sample, Herbie Mann, Dave Brubeck and the master himself, Mr.Davis - first name Miles...says something. Long and short, the man has talent. I sometimes question that talent when I listen some of the cuts from Black Radio but you never know how far you can reach until you stretch yourself so I understand. Hey, I'm not a fan of all of Miles Davis' works towards the end. The best can't hit it out of the park every time. This album certainly is on the better scale for me. A man and his piano making good music. That's all you can ask for.

The bad - I agree with the poor recording quality here. The kick drum was way overdone. So much so that I'm surprised the sound engineer didn't catch it or maybe it is set heavy on purpose. Almost overpowering everything else. Either way, it takes from it slightly but that is not the worse part. For the life of me, I can figure it out but there is a sound that is hard to describe (almost like electronic "woooooing") that is on "The Worst" and "So Beautiful". Whatever it is, it is pretty consistent since I hear it more on the YouTube version. Very faint and you will miss it unless you listen closely for it. Of course, since I know it's there, I can't NOT hear it every time I play it. It's a shame because I think this is best anyone has even attempted remaking this song.

Overall - I like the CD. Good music and it puts me in a good place when I listen. Unfortunately, I can't listen as closely as I would like.
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