How I Got Into This Music
Went to see Q-Tip perform live at the Paradiso in Amsterdam a coupla months back and Hieronymus Fox did his research again and pointed me towards the guy behind the keyboards: a mister Robert Glasper. He told me Glasper also played jazz, and I got very curious about his work.
Tracks that got my attention:
Wow, opening track that blows you away.. Love the bass on the background, layering the song with grace and elegance in the first part. The piano work itself? Tricky, I totally adore the sharp, short and frantic stuff in the beginning of the song. Then it kinda turns into a bit of an ego stroking thing that gets a bit on my nerves.. I can never listen all the way through the track. But the way the bass melts into the foreground round the halfway mark, beautiful!
Of Dreams To Come
Great ebb and flow pattern theme. The piano is so.. clear, crisp and something else with a C. Another 8 minute track, but this one doesn’t get on my cranky nerves at all. All those little moments of serenity and beauty. Listen to that left hand giving subtle layered support. Great bass solo in the last quarter of the track. God, that’s why I love me some Bass!
The little skit at the end is pure Soul/R&B..
The opening piano and bass are just fantastic! There’s this whole sensation of warmth, coming home after a great day at the park, almost a movie score. Also the drums get some nice representation, snares and hi-hats on the front, the heavy bass drum’s on the background but still very present, hard to describe. Listen to the closing skit, yet another sweet combo of the piano and the drums, wow!
Still gotta research the title, oh well..
Y’Outta Praise Him (intro and main)
Intro: Meh, not that much of a lasting impression.. But still a great build up to the main part.
Main: Gotta love how the main track picks up after the intro. Love the variations in the theme. By now, I’ve grown accustomed to Glasper’s piano work. Dreamy, floating above the clouds and sometimes speedy as lightning mixed with broad and calming chords. It’s all about diversity.
The last two minutes of the song seem to come out of nowhere, you know it fits with what you just heard before, but you’re still caught a bit off guard.
This one starts like a traditional jazz piece but with this little edge to it: something modern and urban (before that term got jacked by the E-Z Labeling Company). My fetish for bass gets quite a bit of satisfaction out of this track, thankyouverymuch..
The buildup is very well executed, just kinda lacking any real conclusion. You’re kept at the edge of your seat, a very relaxed and comfortable seat with some nice snacks and a great chilled white wine, but still: seat and edge.
Nice kicker at the end of the song btw.
Maiden Voyage/ Everything In Its Right Place
Adding Herbie Hancock’s Jazz Standard, Maiden Voyage, in the mix.
Can’t find the words.. First two minutes are brilliant: setting up the theme, adding and subtracting from it from that point on. Those haunting piano notes..
What I love most of this track? That incredibly weird skit at the end. There’s this metal-on-glass tapping sound with the slow and mellow piano that just blows my mind!
A tribute to J Dilla. Love the different sweet bits on the piano combined with R&B/Rap drums. Not a connaisseur of J Dilla’s work but it’s a nice tribute!
Well.. Not really my thing.
But the phone skit at the end is bluddy brilliant!
One For ‘Grew
Sweet and Slow. Almost a piano lounge bar tune, and I’m seriously mean this as a compliment!
I like the fact that something different is added to the mix, but it doesn’t work that well for me.
I have listened to this album quite a few times before I got used to it: it’s a lot of piano for a bass loving dude like me. And in the beginning the piano work on this album was a bit too much for me. But after a while, no problem at all.
It’s something I don’t hear quite often: a mix of traditional and modern jazz with the urban thing going on with the drums and some deliciously weird skits at the end of some of the tracks. I think I’ll keep listening this album for a while, but I’m not curious to listen to his other work.
This album is a beautifully intriguing work of art, meaning: it’s clever, interesting, not always my taste, a bit weird and a breath of Fresh Air.