Robert Glasper Experiment (8/10)
Start 22:30 / End 24:00
Robert Glasper stated he founded The Experiment because he was tired about what the jazz scene was offering, saying “I feel like jazz needs a big-ass slap.” With his synthesis of jazz and hip hop, Robert Glasper is one of the few artists trying to go out of the traditional jazz sound, and to pull the genre towards hip hop, soul and R&B. The result shouldn’t be that bad, since his album ‘Black Radio’ won a Grammy for best R&B album. We oughtta confirm this success, loving this project as well as its live performances, such as the recent one in Festsaal, which can only our admiration for this creative artist.
With “Black Radio 2″ scheduled for release next September, hopes and expectations are growing. The line up of the evening included Mark Colenburg on Drums, Casey Benjamin on Sax/vocoder/synth and bassist Burniss Travis, along with central man Robert Glasper, who played Keys and Fender Rhodes. It was a pity to see the venue half empty: maybe last evening’s biblical flood prevented people to come, as well as the lack of proper advertisement, fact is the audience wasn’t the one that such a deserves. The stage presented itself with just low and warm lights, and Burniss hidden back on its dark side while playing his fat bass lines. The stage set up was mirrored compared to the last show in Berlin, with Robert on the left, surrounded by two instruments, and Mark on the right with his impressive drum set. In the middle, on the front part, stood Casey with his hipster style and his red hair, which makes him resemble a cock. Even if you wouldn’t bet a penny on them because of their looks, when they play their instruments and perform together something magical happen. Their music flow could enter inside you making you move and dance. They have all impressive performing techniques, particularly appreciated during each one’s solo, where Mark raped his drums, hitting them as a machine gun. In this magical atmosphere, Robert gave us as a present a taste of the upcoming album, increasing our excitement while waiting for September. No encore, but before thanking everybody and leaving the stage, after reminding us of the extra show they’ll play on Tuesday as Trio (at Festsaal’s chalet), they offered us a Smells Like Teen Spirit cover. It was quite interesting, rearranged on jazz / soul style and sang by Chasey through vocoder. Great musicians, great show, great music.
Venue: Festsaal Kreuzberg
Price: 18,50€ at Festsaal Kreuzberg’s website
Setlist: Robert Glasper Experiment