SF: Robert Glasper Experiment @ SFJazz Center
SF Jazz Center
201 Franklin St
Pianist and composer Robert Glasper is on a mission to reconcile modern jazz with hip hop and R&B. And his last Blue Note recording,Black Radio, was a wildly successful step in that direction, winning Glasper and his Experiment band a Grammy for Best R&B Album. The record is an incisive commentary on urban music, weaving together the disparate strands of a career that took off shortly after he migrated from Houston to New York City in the mid-90s. Glasper became a go-to keyboardist for some of the era’s defining hip hop and R&B stars, touring as music director for Mos Def and appearing with Kanye West, Erykah Badu, Meshell Ndegeocello, Jay-Z and Maxwell. At the same time, Glasper made a name for himself as an insightful post-bop pianist through stints with jazz masters such as Russell Malone, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove and Terence Blanchard. He’s released a series of accomplished sessions, including 2009’s Double Booked, which contrasted his acoustic straight-ahead trio tracks with the slinky, plugged-in funk of the Experiment — a telepathic ensemble featuring saxophonist and vocalist Casey Benjamin, bassist Derrick Hodge and young drumming phenomenon Mark Colenburg. Touring to support his highly anticipated Black Radio II, Robert Glasper is truly the sound of now.