Robert Glasper Experiment Live on KCRW – Lift Off

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Robert Glasper by Brian Lowe

Robert Glasper Experiment is a band that is truly turned on. All of us were floored by their performance, which is jazz aimed at a new era of music lovers.

The spirit of improvisation was alive and the arrangement for at least one of the songs was worked out right here during soundcheck.

They reinterpret well known songs with – Sade’s “Cherish the Day” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” among them – adding deep grooves to accomplish Robert’s aim to not only make jazz accessible, but to reflect his generation and the society we live in now.

On the album itself, the Brooklyn based-musician brought in a lot of special guests, including Erykah Badu on the jazz standard “Afro Blue”. In a chat before the session, I told Robert I would have been intimidated by her because she seems so powerful but he said she’s really down to earth. He said when she arrived at the recording session, she asked for some wine and then they looked up a bunch of versions of the track on You Tube (Dianne Reeves, John Coltrane) before laying down her vocals.

Check out the album version here and revisit this excellent live set, including a bonus track recorded once we went off air, an original called “Lift Off”.

Robert Glasper Experiment – Live on KCRW

Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box


Cherish the Day


Smells Like Teen Spirit

Lift Off