I have probably talked about this album enough already to show how excited I am for this release. Robert Glasper Experiment releases their first full length album that cannot be described as any one genre. The album draws from jazz, hip hop, R&B and rock (they cover smells like teen spirit by Nirvana). Lets first talk about the amazing lineup of special guests, including Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Lalah Hathaway, Shafiq Husayn, KING, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Musiq Soulchild, Meshell Ndegeocello and Stokley Williams. This lineup in itself should get you very stoked to check out the album. These featured artists paired with pianist Robert Glasper, saxist Casey Benjamin, bassist Derrick Hodge, and my personal favorite, drummer Chris Dave is jaw dropping. I can say that Chris Dave is one of the most talented drummers I have heard in a long time. Here’s a taste of Chris Dave.
For the people who see the names Lupe and Mos Def, their features will not disappoint. To be honest, I think Lupe hasnt really put out any noteworthy material since food and liquor. Look at his attempt to rap over lights by bassnectar or M83’s Midnight City. I dont know what he was thinking, but his track Always shine is respectable. Mos Def does what Mos does and absolutely killed it on the track, Black Radio, found below.
The great thing about this album is how accessible it is to all types of listeners. For the devoted jazz fans you will find the find the bands combination of different styles enthralling, for hip-hop heads you get to experience a new side of Lupe and Mos that you may not be used too, the quiet jazz rendition of Nirvana’s Smells Like teen Spirit showcases the bands talent to defy genre boundaries and create an album that every listener will enjoy. To check out some more tracks from the album, click here. All in all, I can already say that this is going to be one of my favorites of 2012. Whats more, if you buy the album on Itunes you get a bonus track covering the A Love Supreme by John Coltrane. The bonus track can be streamed below.
Now this may not be ‘new music’ per say. The EP was released in 2010…but it needs to be up on this blog. It ties in perfectly with my previous posts on BadBadNotGood and Robert Glasper. If you liked either of those phenomenal bands be sure to check out this EP! The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a 8-piece Chicago based group. With Gabriel Hubert (trumpet), Saiph Graves (trombone), Tycho Cohran (sousaphone), Amal Baji Hubert (trumpet), Seba Graves (trombone), Tarik Graves (trumpet), Uttama Hubert (baritone, and Gabriel Wallace on the drums. With the exception of Gabriel Wallace, the members of Hypnotic are all brothers. The band has performed with Mos Def, Aquilla Sadalla, Phil Cohran (their dad), The Recipe, Nomadic Massive, and Tony Allen.
On the Heritage EP, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble recorded 5 solid reworks of some classic cuts. They reworked tracks by Fela Kuti, Madlib, Jay-Z, Art Of Noise, Outkast and MF Doom. Mos Def scored the set for these amazing reinterpretations as well. I’m almost positive you wont be able to recognize what the original is for some of these tracks because of the way these guys build off of the original beat. Check out their rework of Outkasts Spottieottiedopaliscious below and this AMAZING live show at the Red Bull Music Academy.
Funky interpretation of Spottieottiedopaliscious. Along with this EP, they have released a slew of other material. Whats really cool about this band is that they started off playing around different subway stations in New York and worked up from there. All of their music can be bought on itunes or found on mediafire. Their first two albums, which they sold in 2004 and 2005, Flipside and Jupiter started off their musical conquest to, from one interaction with a bandmember, “Support live music, people,” he called out, stepping in line with his bandmates. “Bring back real music before it’s too late.” Their Self titled album Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is also quality.
Black Star, composed of the prolific MCs Talib Kweli and Mos Def, comeback onto the scene with two solid releases Fix Up and You Already Knew (off the Top secret Aretha Franklin mixtape). Mos Def should now actually referred to as Yasiin Bey…the guy just got tired of Mos Def. Black Star has been relatively dormant as both artists have been working on their own projects but hopefully this is the beginning to a long awaited reunion. The two performed Fix Up live on The Colbert Report and then released You Already Knew on their website. Fix Up is produced by Madlib and You Already Knew is produced by Oh No.