Robert Glasper Trio - 16 July 2008: New York, Madison Square Park
Words and Pictures by Thomas Hauner.
Under fading skies, and in front of a casual yet receptive crowd, the Robert Glasper trio produced music that was both visceral and exuberant. It was just the chill, hip-hop associated jazz to cool a hot summer city night. Beginning with straight-up versions of songs from Glasper’s 2007 release In My Element, the group quickly developed into harmonious yet deconstructive musical tangents, each player part of a harmonious polyrhythmic dialogue.
The trio (Vincente Archer and Chris Dave backed Glasper on bass and drums respectively) dispensed smiles and head bobbing with each stylistic morph. During the fading denouement of “F.T.B” Glasper demurely faded into “My Favorite Things” before toying with “Scarborough Fair” on his way to the end. The melancholic, “Maiden Voyage / Everything In Its Right Place” featured more of Chris Dave’s rhythmically precise percussion volatility, dynamic hi-hat flurry, and sizzling rides.
Overall it was the trio’s grace, timing, dynamics, communication, and funky beats that captivated the audience, young and old alike.