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In My Element

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 20, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

2007 album from the Jazz pianist. Hailed by listeners and critics, Glasper has also garnered the respect of the toughest audience of all: musicians from across the Jazz spectrum. In a May 2008 Blindfold Test for Down Beat magazine, a fellow pianist instantly identified Glasper and praised him as 'a fantastic musician'.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 20, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B000N8UY6Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,641 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jan P. Dennis on March 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD
There're three types of pianistic virtuosity, I'm thinking: the blow-you-out-of-the-water type, with such outrageous technique and flair as to drop jaws, such as John Wolf Brennan, Jean-Michel Pilc, or Vijay Iyer; the totally natural type, whose effortless mastery astounds not by sheer brilliance but by total command of all aspects of playing as well as startling imagination, such as Bill Evans or Brad Mehldau; and, thirdly, the hard-won type, where subtlety, nuance, and understatement dominate, and which in the end may be the most rewarding of all, which Kenny Baron, Mulgrew Miller, and, most significantly, Frank Kimbrough exemplify. Then there's the extremely rare player who combines all three, Keith Jarrett, McCoy Tyner, and, perhaps, Jason Moran immediately coming to mind. I think it's safe to add Robert Glasper to that last category, even though this is just his third session as leader.

He seems able to do anything he wants, be it a romantically drenched, haunting, Sehnsuct-filled outing, recalling, remarkably, both Esbjorn Svensson and Frank Kimbrough at once ("Maiden Voyage/Everything in Its Right Place"); a drop-dead gorgeous reading of Sam Rivers's great ballad, "Beatrice" (taken at an irreverent gallop during the entire middle section), evoking a Jacky Terrasson-meets-Jean-Michel-Pilc sensibility, or the gospel-drenched "Y'Outta Praise Him," so thick in Church that it makes Cyrus Chestnut's You Are My Sunshine seem downright secular.

His band follows his every step with absolute ease. Damion Reid on drums especially impresses. With Ari Hoenig, Jeff Ballard, Eric Harland, and Michael Sarin, he's bringing a new, more expressivistic, almost lead-instrument sensibility to the bandstand.
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Format: Audio CD
With the release of his second Blue Note date "In My Element," there are no signs whatsoever that pianist Robert Glasper is succumbing to the dreaded sophomore slump.
Following on the heels of his '05 release "Canvas," which featured guest spots by saxophonist Mark Turner and vocalist Bilal, the new disc spotlights the pianist exclusively in the company of his trio- bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damon Reid.
Glasper is an assured and articulate instrumentalist who continues to emphasize "tunes" over "technique." The title of the new disc could easily be construed to be his mantra as the pianist sounds entirely in his element as he once again richly mines the crossroad where jazz glances back while still charging ahead.
Obviously schooled in the tradition, the 27 year-old is very much a modernist, boldly shading his own fertile compositions with elements of gospel and even hip-hop. One unabashedly modern spin comes courtesy of numerous fade-ins and subsequent fade-outs which bookend interludes that are found at the end of tunes throughout the disc. This production technique is popular in hip-hop music, however here Glasper uses it as an extension of the improvisation process. "Most of them are little snippets we made up in the studio," he explains. "One or two of them are actually parts of songs that I borrowed from and used. I didn't really map out the album in advance- I recorded a bunch of interludes and then listened to see what would flow best. I figured the more organic the better."
Even more telling examples of this new post-modern-traditionalism are to be found in his interpretations of tunes by jazz legends. His bold reworking of Sam Rivers' "Beatrice" glides along propelled by Reid's brushes then his assured cymbal work.
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Format: Audio CD
I am new to Robert Glasper's work having heard of him for the first time on NPR but I ran out and purchased both Canvas and In My Element and I must say I'm quite pleased. I grew up primarily on hip hop and r&b but really "discovered" jazz in graduate school. I really love how Glasper merges jazz and hip hop on In My Element. His piano playing is brillant and is aided by great playing on the bass and drums. My favorites are F.T.B., Of Dreams to Come and Maiden Voyage. Of course, being a hip hop head, I appreciated the JDillalude as well. I definitely think that Glasper can bring hip hop fans to jazz with this album moreso than he can with Canvas.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
The classic jazz trio is reimagined for modern jazz in this excellent album. Rhythms are upbeat, the piano is sweet, effortlessly traversing changing harmonies. I grew up on jazz trios from the 1950's and 1960's. Glasper is way more modern, and yet the fundamentals of the jazz trio form are very recognizable.

Although I bought this album nearly a year ago, I'm only now listening to it carefully. And each time through, it's even more amazing. If you like traditional jazz trios, you'll probably like this. And if you're a fan of virtuoso jazz piano, you'll surely like this.
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Format: MP3 Music
Following the breakthrough success of his first highly praised album for Blue Note
Canvas and the brief, but aspiring, recital recording a year later, The Robert Glasper
Trio topped the jazz charts and had impressed the music world with this masterfully-
produced trio masterpiece in 2007 truly done with fresh new originality and gratifying
results. In My Element is a first rate meat and potatoes achievement that’s heralded
by breathtaking virtuosity, creative solos done in flawless timing and flawless artistry
that gave this beautifully-crafted trio recording it’s powerful cutting edge momentum,
one that is played in a unique class of it’s own. Starting off with a refreshing force of
nature, the brilliant track set begin on a high-pitched note on G&B, as it proceed with
other superb memorable compositions like Of Dreams Come True, F.T.B., the lyrical
two-part Y’Outta Praise Him, the mystical Silly Rabbit, J Dilalude and One For ‘Grew
(dedicated to noted jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller), while their slick renditions on classic
standards such as Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage and Radiohead’s Everything Is
In It’s Place add to the stunning interplay for this young talented jazz trio. Dedicated
to his mother (who worked as a gospel pianist and vocalist in a local church), you will
definitely find In My Element to be such a striking work in progress that is highlighted
with its fantastic musical background filled with upbeat vitality, original straight ahead
excellence and wonderful musicianship from The Robert Glasper Trio for whom they
handle it with great uplifting splendour and swirling grandeur.
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