The Robert Glasper Experiment played a live show at NPR Music's Washington D.C. headquarters for their Tiny Desk Concert series.
Things start off with Glasper in a very light-hearted mood. He plays around with the phone sitting on the desk in front of him and does some ritualistic breathing exercise before getting into the music. Then things get heavy during the first song, "Trust," featuring Marsha Ambrosius on vocals.
Ambrosius steps out for the second song, as Robert Glasper says "We're just gonna make something up on the spot" which becomes the "NPR Tiny Desk Jam." Things turn toward a fusion jam that shows an influence from jazz greats like Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. Drummer Mark Colenburg kicks the jam off, and has a good sense of how to keep things moving. Glasper's fluid playing on his Motif keyboard is extraordinary. On bass, Derrick Hodge lays down a strong groove and knows when to keep things simple or stretch out with more notes.
The final song, "Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)" is started by Hodge, who shows that he's clearly influenced by Nate Watts, longtime bass player for Stevie Wonder. After the song, Glasper is sure to mention that he's got an album called Live Today worth checking out on Blue Note Records. "Gonne Be Alright" has an interesting combination of sounds, as funky soul meets jazz and some hip-hop drum breaks thrown in for good measure. This is essentially what the Robert Glasper Experiment does. There is a musical freedom to explore, but also a basis in the techniques and traditions of the past.
Robert Glasper Experiment Tiny Desk Concert Setlist:
"NPR Tiny Desk Jam"
"Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)"
Robert Glasper Experiment Tiny Desk Concert Personnel:
Robert Glasper, keyboards
Derrick Hodge, bass
Mark Colenburg, drums
Marsha Ambrosius, voice
Robert Glasper Experiment Tiny Desk Concert Credits:
Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Becky Harlan, Meredith Rizzo