If you're looking for homegrown musical success stories of 2012, you could do a lot worse than Robert Glasper. True, technically he lives in New York, where he became such an in-demand session player he called his 2009 album Double Booked, but now the Missouri City native and HSPVA grad is on the verge of becoming a full-fledged star.
|Photos by Mike Schreiber/courtesy of EMI North America|
|The Robert Glasper Experiment|
In February, he released Black Radio (Blue Note), a dense, collaborator-heavy album that plays more like a mixtape and seamlessly fuses hip-hop, jazz and R&B until Glasper throws one final curveball with a ruminative, seven-minute cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Circling Glasper's quartet the Experiment (Casey Benjamin, Derrick Hodge and Mark Colenburg) is a constellation of stars including Erykah Badu, Chrisette Michele, Lupe Fiasco and his old friend Bilal.
Critics immediately adored the record, including in a lengthy Sunday New York Times article, and it was also a hit at the cash register, spending most of the spring lodged near the top of iTunes' Jazz and R&B charts. More recently came the Black Radio Recovered EP, which opens a few Black Radio songs to producers like Pete Rock and the Roots' Questlove, but Glasper concludes it himself by producing a nine-minute tribute to the late J. Dilla that earns a congratulatory voicemail message from Dilla's mom.
Rocks Off spoke with Glasper, who brings the Experiment to a special free HSPVA concert at Discovery Green Friday night, by phone last week as the group was crossing into Canada, dreaming of a vacation.More »