Houston pianist Robert Glasper has long had a profound connection with hip-hop.
Breakthrough album In My Element caught a lot of attention for centrepiece ‘J Dillatude’, which reimagined the late producer’s classics in a live instrumental setting. Glasper’s also notched up numerous live shows with Mos Def, and latest album Black Radio featured guest spots from Kendrick Lamar and Lupe Fiasco.
The Robert Glasper Experiment’s banner show at the London Roundhouse on September 23 featured a host of special guests, ranging from the soulful (Bilal, Jose James) to the unlikely (Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump). Guest of honour was screwy MC DOOM, who, following a previous collaboration at last year’s Montreaux Jazz Festival, rattled through a pair of classic Madvillainy tracks with the band. Recordings of both tracks are available to stream, courtesy of Potholes In My Blog.
Gully cut ‘Figaro’ sounds markedly funkier in a live setting, the menace of the original toned down into something lean and lithe. ‘Rhinstone Cowboy’, meanwhile, gets a full, lush overhaul. The recording also contains hints that the pair might be collaborating in a more official manner. Speaking between tracks, DOOM says something is “coming soon – all I’m a say is, coming soon”, to to which another voice (Glasper, we think) replies “that’s a little tidbit for y’all – DOOM and Glasper”, followed by plenty of pantomime shushing.
Black Radio is out now.