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In My Element
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Robert Glasper is eternally fresh, and his music speaks for itself. Very, very, hip s***.Published 16 months ago by imaspider
To express my amazement when listening to ONE track only so far: The drums on this track is so refreshing that I will urge myself to get a hand on this CD. Read morePublished on February 4, 2014 by Axel H. Baumgarten
Robert Glasper is an extraordinary pianist with an approach to music that is his own. He makes it float weightlessly
with endless variations of a small figure over an... Read more
This Young cat just might get the hip hop community to take a look at jazz in a more seirous way. I love the colorations this cat put together in he musical arrangements. Read morePublished on May 26, 2013 by Jeffrey E. Massey