My current feature is about Robert Glasper Experiment and its new Blue Note album, Black Radio. The piece takes a long look at Glasper's m.o., which has been in place almost from the start. (For time-travel purposes, here's the profile I wrote for JazzTimes in 2005.)
I have one regret about this weekend's piece: that concerns about space and clarity prevented me from talking more about the other members of the Experiment, and the ways in which their alchemical contribution defines the band. As you probably know, Glasper isn't the only guy here with a genre-fluid background. Derrick Hodge, the bassist, is as widely known for his past affiliations with Common (the rapper) as with Terence Blanchard (the trumpeter). Casey Benjamin, who plays saxophone, keyboards and vocoder, can often be found on tour with Patrick Stump. And you can hear drummer Chris Dave on both 21, Adele's brobdingnagian smash, and the fierce bootlegs from D'Angelo's recent trip to Stockholm. Also, here:
Derrick Hodge and Chris Dave were both gracious enough to speak with me for this Arts & Leisure assignment, Derrick at considerable length. I wasn't able to incorporate their voices into the piece, but there's no question that they helped illuminate the subject.
I've been listening to some really promising rough mixes from Hodge's forthcoming Blue Note debut; some of the songs were recently heard on WBGO/NPR, via his concert at 92YTriBeCa. And on the day that Derrick and I sat down to talk, he was in town for a session: the next Blue Note release by guitarist Lionel Loueke, which will feature Hodge, Glasper and drummer Mark Giuliana. As I said in the piece, we're going to be hearing a lot more of this vibe.
ArtsBeat: So is it Jazz?
Gig: Maxwell and the Band