In My Element
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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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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. Unanimously hailed as
one of his greatest and most important classics, In My Element is a bonafide award-
winning blockbuster achievement that will live on for the ages as both a timeless trio
landmark done with style and fascination and a world class must.
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. If he occasionally becomes just a bit bombastic, one easily forgives that in view of his huge chops and rhythmic brilliance. Bassist Vicente Archer, another young lion of huge presence, brings both a plenary knowledge of the tradition wedded to a strikingly modern conception. Together with Glasper, they manage to be both absolutely in sync even as they go their own way exploring interesting rhythmic, harmonic, and coloristic byways.
Indeed, the utter virtuosity of this disc almost gets in the way of a full appreciation of it: one is so bowled over, one misses the extreme musicality and casually glorious invention. If it were just mere virtuosity, it would soon wear thin. Instead, the more one listens, the more it reveals its huge musicality, lightly worn.
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with endless variations of a small figure over an...Read more