Issue October 28, 2009

Double Booked

Robert Glasper
BLUE NOTE

No matter how many projects you attempt, you are an oaf compared to pianist Robert Glasper and drummer Chris “Daddy” Dave. Starting the year with Maxwell’s band, gigging both their trio and the RCDC Experiment, backing Mos Def, sessions for a dozen others … I’m tired just typing it. Double Booked shows the many sides of Glasper’s muse. The trio opens the disc, yet I can’t call it “traditional.” Elements of your usual coffeeshop variety trio pop up, only to be whisked away by a Dave solo or flourish far outside the sleepy blandness of tradition. Glasper’s touch is light but far from breezy, allowing wholly different colors on Monk’s Think of One. Much has been written lately about the “death of jazz” (WSJ, NPR) as it relates to young people. Funny then how Glasper, Dave, Christian Scott, Roy Hargrove and Derrick Gardner have yet to participate in the debate. Perhaps they’re just too busy working.