First and foremost a jazz pianist, Glasper got his start playing piano in church as a child. At night, he would accompany his mother to jazz clubs where she sang. Early on, he began to mix gospel and jazz, but as he grew to love hip hop, he wanted to incorporate that into his music, as well. Glasper has played in a jazz trio and toured the world playing at Jazz Festivals, but recently, he has become renowned for his ability to mix unlikely elements into something startlingly original, even if he's covering the work of another artist.
His latest album, "Black Radio" has been called "sinuous" and has so many guest appearances, it’s a "who's who of modern black singers and rappers." Its title comes from the idea that the black box, or black radio, in a plane is the only part to survive a crash. Glasper wanted to make something that would survive the crash he saw in the quality of music around him. He facilitated collaborations that re-imagined how jazz, hip hop, blues, soul and rock could be combined, inviting some of the top musicians in those genres to help him. The result is impressive. No part of Glasper's own "Black Radio" is stronger than the whole. It's a genre-defying, airtight collection of creative and experimental tracks. Listen to tracks from "Black Radio" on today's episode of World Cafe.
Artist/SONG NAME/ALBUM NAME
Recent Release: Black Radio
Release Date: February 28th, 2012
Label: Blue Note/ EMI
Band Origin: Houston, Texas