Robert Glasper Experiment is back with Black Radio 2, out October 29.
Glasper ups the ante with the release of Black Radio 2 (Blue Note), another genre-defying effort that takes the Black Radio blueprint and builds to even greater heights. The core remains the Experiment, as astoundingly versatile a band as has ever existed, featuring Robert Glasper on keyboards, Derrick Hodge on bass, Mark Colenburg on drums, and Casey Benjamin on vocoder and saxophone. Providing the vocals throughout is another jaw-dropping roll call of vocalists including Common, Patrick Stump, Brandy, Jill Scott, Dwele, Marsha Ambrosius, Anthony Hamilton, Faith Evans, Norah Jones, Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco, Emeli Sandé, Lalah Hathaway, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner.
On Black Radio 2, the emphasis is on songwriting with 11 of the 12 tracks new originals, from the soaring lead track “I Stand Alone” featuring rapper Common and vocalist Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy through Jill Scott’s sensual ode to connection “Calls” to the reinvention fantasy “Somebody Else” featuring BRIT Award winner Emeli Sandé. The lone cover is the album closer, a spine-tingling version of Stevie Wonder’s “Jesus Children of America” by vocalist Lalah Hathaway that also features a poignant spoken word tribute to the 20 young victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting by poet Malcolm-Jamal Warner. The album was produced by Glasper along with executive producers Nicole Hegeman and Eli Wolf.
Growing up in Houston, Texas, Robert Glasper had a strong musical influence in his mother, who played piano and sang gospel music in church as well as in jazz and blues clubs in Houston. By the age of twelve, he was playing piano in church and often accompanied his mother in clubs. Raised on gospel, Motown, and R&B, by his teens he was listening to jazz, rock, pop and hip hop. He attended the Houston High School for the Performing Arts and moved to New York City to study at New School University. While still in school he was already playing with Christian McBride and Kenny Garrett, and went on to play with Nicholas Payton, Terence Blanchard, and Roy Hargrove.
After releasing his debut album Mood on the Fresh Sound label in 2003 followed by two buzzed about Blue Note albums with his acoustic Trio—Canvas (2005) and In My Element (2007)—Glasper perfectly captured his unique duality with Double-Booked (2009), an album that juxtaposed his Trio and Experiment bands, and earned the keyboardist his first GRAMMY nomination.
The 2012 release of Black Radio was met with wide acclaim, with Jay-Z’s Life+Times calling it a “a genre-bending album finding a perfect medium between jazz, R&B and hip-hop,” while Rolling Stone declared “Glasper heads down the fraught path of hip-hop jazz and gets it right,” adding that “with music this smart and inviting, the implied diss of mainstream doesn’t feel like sour grapes; it feels like a blueprint forward.” USA Today proclaimed it “an exhilarating experience,” adding that “Glasper succeeds in making accessible, authentic music that is far removed from the disposable music that dominates black radio today.”
Black Radio featured collaborations with vocalists including Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Musiq Soulchild, and yasiin bey, and Glasper followed the album release with TV appearances on CBS Late Show With David Letterman, NBC Tonight Show With Jay Leno and NBC Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Black Radio was awarded Best R&B Album at the 2013 GRAMMY Awards.
This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.