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Robert Glasper's 'Black Radio': Is all that jazz?

The musician's new album has flashes of R&B, funk and hip-hop, and to nitpicking genre purists, Glasper says the evolution was not only natural but inevitable.

March 22, 2012|By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times

And he isn't alone. Spalding also explored the soul music at her roots with the recently released "Radio Music Society," and recordings from trumpter Nicholas Payton, drummer Jamire Williams and pianist Vijay Iyer also venture outside jazz tradition with either their cover choices, structures or instrumentation. Wherever this mini-movement leads, the result in Glasper's eyes can only be a step forward.

"I think it's a good thing," Glasper said. "Because jazz has been stagnant for too long. At least in hip-hop stuff always happens, so you want to see the news.... Even if it's bad.

"Jazz, nothing ever happens. It's literally like being at an old-folks home on bingo night," he said with a rolling, mischievous laugh. "You know? I prefer to be at a party where a fight might break out."

The Robert Glasper Experiment

Where: The Exchange, 618 S. Spring St., L.A.

When: Tonight and Thursday, 9 p.m.

Cost: $30; Thursday sold out.


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