Shaping is a different job than reinventing. The sound of deriving is originative, and Robert Glasper has declared that jazz has become a museum of itself, and he definitely has been looking for something else, or something more.

Robert Glasper might have been made famous in the mainstream sphere through his soul and hip-hop collaborations, but he also contributed to the advancement of jazz by pushing the boundaries of the genre, just like his predecessors who paved the  way. The Robert Glasper Experiment presented themselves as a quintet, with Casey Benjamin on vocals, saxophone plus a turntablist, ready to dive into ArtScience, the latest project lead by the famous keyboardist. It does pick up where the Grammy’d and now staple Black Radio 1&2 left us, which means into a territory where no genre prevails, arising from jazz, fusing from genre it gave birth to — soul, r&b, funk, but also rock.

It was not a Glasper who came up for a rather more cerebral concert than what he had accustomed us with the Experiment, as if his intention was to install a critical reflection which comes through both the music and its content. During the uninterrupted set, musicians came together or walked in and out fluidly leaving room for solos, exploration and improvisation that the space and moments allow. It does not only shine by its casual mastery, it is how itmanages to hits and make us feel we keep with ourselves once the music is over.

Much more than breaking codes, there is this intersection and deconstruction that occurs through Glasper’s music, tending to black music and addressing social issues of the community. Yet, other than bringing forth first-rate music that may popular taste without lowering standards, it sounds to the head, ears, heart and consciousness extremely relevant, actual and necessary

Photo: Annik MH de Carufel

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About The Author

Christelle Saint-Julien
Collaborator - RREVERB

Christelle is a Montreal-based writer, musician and translator based and born in Montreal. An hyperactive brainard, her first love really is music. She makes a living putting words together in different contexts.