Let Go

Let Go

“My whole career, everybody’s been saying my music is meditative,” Robert Glasper tells Apple Music. “People say they study to my music, they pray to my music, they do yoga to my music, they just zone out. People have wanted me to do this for a long time.” The Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer is talking about the direction of his latest album Let Go, a project he created in partnership with Apple Music with the express intention of helping listeners recalibrate mentally. “I wouldn't call it the ‘meditation project’ or nothing like that,” Glasper says. “But it’s something you can put on that helps you find your center. It's just something that quiets the world and allows you to see what’s within.” Let Go may be the first Glasper project with an overtly meditative direction, but it’s hardly the first time the man has approached creating from an altruistic angle. Glasper says that his last proper release, 2022’s Black Radio III, was concocted in an effort to uplift some of his favorite voices, an undertaking that yielded collaborations with names like Q-Tip, Meshell Ndegeocello, Gregory Porter, Killer Mike, and Esperanza Spalding, artists who exist across the jazz, hip-hop, and R&B spaces he so regularly traverses between. “I wasn’t going to do a Black Radio III,” Glasper says of the beloved series in which previous installments have also played out like pitch-perfect Grammy-week jam sessions. “I didn’t feel like it was needed—and then I don’t want to become a broken record with this shit. But then when COVID hit, I felt like a musical first responder. I felt like I could really help people with that record—and it could help me. It’ll give me something to do and it’ll give other artists something to do.” Two years out from that project, what the world needs now—according to Glasper—is peace, sweet peace, a mission that requires a particular kind of instrumental support. Here, that means cherished Glasper collaborators like drummer Kendrick Scott, bassist Burniss Travis, and guitarist Chris Sholar, players Glasper knew would bolster this album’s very particular energy. “The musicians are very, very important because they have to have that same flow and that same center,” he says. “The drummer that’s on here, he’s a water sign. Everything he plays is water. He feels like water. And that’s what I wanted for this. I wanted it to be liquid.” Coincidentally, esteemed singer and bassist Ndegeocello guests on a song called “Breathing Underwater,” one of the album’s few vocal moments. Otherwise, we’re hearing from Glasper directly, serving to further articulate why he needed to deliver Let Go in this moment. “Every year I make a record, I'm more of myself,” Glasper says. “I’m growing up, I’ve lived more life, I’m really telling my story. The way you find your sound is you write music—and anything you write, it’s going to be the only thing like that in the world.”

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