ROBERT GLASPER EXPERIMENT RELEASES BLACK RADIO 2
FOLLOW-UP TO GRAMMY-WINNING BLACK RADIO
On their 2012 breakout Black Radio, Robert Glasper Experiment laid out a new paradigm for creative music, reaching beyond entrenched genre boundaries to create a singular vision that drew from all reaches of contemporary black music and beyond. Black Radio drew unanimous praise from critics across the board and earned Glasper the highest chart positions of his career when the album debuted at #10 on Billboard’s Top Current Albums chart, also claiming the #1 spot on both the Billboard Jazz chart and the iTunes R&B chart. The album kept earning accolades all the way to the 2013 GRAMMY Awards where Black Radio was awarded Best R&B Album.
Now, RGX ups the ante with the release of Black Radio 2 (Blue Note), another genre-defying effort that takes the Black Radio blueprint and builds to even greater heights. The core remains the Experiment, as astoundingly versatile a band as has ever existed, featuring Robert Glasper on keyboards, Derrick Hodge on bass, Mark Colenburg on drums, and Casey Benjamin on vocoder and saxophone. Providing the vocals throughout is another jaw-dropping roll call of vocalists including Common, Patrick Stump, Brandy, Jill Scott, Dwele, Marsha Ambrosius, Anthony Hamilton, Faith Evans, Norah Jones, Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco, Luke James, Emeli Sandé, Lalah Hathaway, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. A deluxe version of the album contains four bonus tracks featuring Macy Gray, Jean Grae, Bilal, Jazmine Sullivan, and Eric Roberson, as well as a cover of the Bill Withers classic “Lovely Day” that includes a spoken intro from Mr. Withers himself. Black Radio 2 is available at Amazon and iTunes.
n Black Radio 2, the emphasis is on songwriting with 11 of the 12 tracks new originals, from the soaring lead track “I Stand Alone” featuring rapper Common and vocalist Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy through Jill Scott’s sensual ode to connection “Calls” to the reinvention fantasy “Somebody Else” featuring BRIT Award winner Emeli Sandé. The lone cover is the album closer, a spine-tingling version of Stevie Wonder’s “Jesus Children of America” by vocalist Lalah Hathaway that also features a poignant spoken word tribute to the 20 young victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting by poet Malcolm-Jamal Warner. The album was produced by Glasper along with executive producers Nicole Hegeman and Eli Wolf.
Baby Tonight (Black Radio 2 Theme) / Mic Check 2
I Stand Alone featuring Common and Patrick Stump
What Are We Doing featuring Brandy
Calls featuring Jill Scott
Worries featuring Dwele
Trust featuring Marsha Ambrosius
Yet To Find featuring Anthony Hamilton
You Own Me featuring Faith Evans
Let It Ride featuring Norah Jones
ersevere featuring Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco and Luke James
Somebody Else featuring Emeli Sandé
Jesus Children of America featuring Lalah Hathaway and Malcolm-Jamal Warner
Big Girl Body featuring Eric Roberson
You’re My Everything featuring Bilal and Jazmine Sullivan
I Don’t Even Care featuring Jean Grae and Macy Gray
Lovely Day (Intro by Bill Withers)
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Growing up in Houston, Texas, Robert Glasper had a strong musical influence in his mother, who played piano and sang gospel music in church as well as in jazz and blues clubs in Houston. By the age of twelve, he was playing piano in church and often accompanied his mother in clubs. Raised on gospel, Motown, and R&B, by his teens he was listening to jazz, rock, pop and hip hop. He attended the Houston High School for the Performing Arts and moved to New York City to study at New School University. While still in school he was already playing with Christian McBride and Kenny Garrett, and went on to play with Nicholas Payton, Terence Blanchard, and Roy Hargrove.
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After releasing his debut album Mood on the Fresh Sound label in 2003 followed by two buzzed about Blue Note albums with his acoustic Trio—Canvas (2005) and In My Element (2007)—Glasper perfectly captured his unique duality with Double-Booked (2009), an album that juxtaposed his Trio and Experiment bands, and earned the keyboardist his first GRAMMY nomination.
The 2012 release of Black Radio was met with wide acclaim, with Jay-Z’s Life+Times calling it a “a genre-bending album finding a perfect medium between jazz, R&B and hip-hop,” while Rolling Stone declared “Glasper heads down the fraught path of hip-hop jazz and gets it right,” adding that “with music this smart and inviting, the implied diss of mainstream doesn’t feel like sour grapes; it feels like a blueprint forward.” USA Today proclaimed it “an exhilarating experience,” adding that “Glasper succeeds in making accessible, authentic music that is far removed from the disposable music that dominates black radio today.”
Black Radio featured collaborations with vocalists including Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Musiq Soulchild, and yasiin bey, and Glasper followed the album release with TV appearances on CBS Late Show With David Letterman, NBC Tonight Show With Jay Leno and NBC Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Black Radio was awarded Best R&B Album at the 2013 GRAMMY Awards.