Robert Glasper

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About Robert Glasper

Few artists have done more to infuse the sound of modern jazz with hip-hop and contemporary R&B than keyboardist Robert Glasper. When Glasper—born in Houston, Texas in 1978—emerged with 2004 debut album Mood, he was firmly entrenched in the jazz camp, embracing modern harmony and complicated rhythm with a focus on improvisation. He reinforced his jazz bona fides leading an acoustic trio on his first few albums for Blue Note. But by the end of the 2000s, he began mixing and matching styles at will, increasingly collaborating with rappers and singers like Bilal and Mos Def. His musical transition is electrifying on 2012 breakthrough Black Radio, where the collision was less about fusing jazz and hip-hop and more about tapping rhythmic and harmonic mutability in service to boom-bap grooves. Glasper's instincts made him a natural in the producer role on albums like Kendrick Lamar's 2015 To Pimp a Butterfly. In the late 2010s, Glasper formed all-star groups R+R=NOW (including Terrace Martin and Christian Scott) and August Greene (with Common and Karriem Riggins) that underlined his collaborative impulses and disregard for genre purity. His aesthetic has been embraced and stretched by an ever-growing coterie that encompasses legends like Herbie Hancock and rising rapper and composer Denzel Curry.

Houston, TX, United States
April 5, 1978

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