Throughout his October residency on the Blue Be aware, Grammy-winning jazz pianist Robert Glasper will probably be hard-pressed to prime certainly one of his earlier exhibits on the West Village establishment.
That’s as a result of Kanye West — the perpetually controversial rapper who simply modified his title to Ye — as soon as sat in with Glasper on the membership.
“I did per week right here with completely different company, and in the future I had [rapper] Lupe Fiasco be my particular visitor,” Glasper tells The Submit whereas sitting in his dressing room earlier than a soundcheck for opening night time earlier this week. “Between the primary and second set, Mos [Def] calls me. He’s like, ‘Yo, I’m coming by, and I’m bringing Ye with me.’”
After just a little prodding from Fiasco, West and Mos Def ended up hitting the stage. “I doubt Blue Be aware’s ever been that lit. Everyone was on their chairs,” says Glasper of that shock rapper trifecta. “They rhymed, freestyled forwards and backwards, like, 30 minutes. Dude, I inform you, that s - - t was wild.”
That 2011 second would be the one to beat as Glasper performs 48 exhibits over 24 nights by Oct. 28. Alongside the way in which, the genre-bending artist — who has labored with everybody from Erykah Badu and Norah Jones to Kendrick Lamar and Stevie Surprise — will probably be switching it up with completely different musical themes (corresponding to a Miles Davis tribute) and band configurations (together with a trio that includes Yasiin Bey, the artist previously often called Mos Def), plus shock company.
Not that Glasper has gotten together with everybody he’s collaborated with: In August, he went viral for slamming Lauryn Hill on a Houston radio present. He mentioned she mistreated her musicians and reduce their pay for a 2008 present throughout which Glasper backed the diva.
“That was the worst factor I’ve ever skilled in my life musically, so far as how she handled individuals,” he says. “I’m simply talking up for the little man, as a result of it’s been occurring for 20 years, bro.”
The Houston native, who’s now based mostly in Fort Greene, has come a good distance since he first went to the Blue Be aware in 1997. “It was a jam session,” says Glasper, 40, who frequently faucets his left foot to the inside rhythms of his thoughts throughout the interview. “Quickly as I walked out of the Blue Be aware, I discovered a hundred-dollar invoice sitting proper there on the bottom. Good signal, proper?”
However Glasper didn’t really want the great luck of discovering a C-note outdoors of the Blue Be aware, as a result of he had expertise — and a imaginative and prescient that went outdoors of the field. That creativity bought nurtured when jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove visited his highschool in Houston.
“He had on overalls and Timberlands and performed jazz,” Glasper says. “I’m like, ‘You can seem like that and play jazz? Oh snap!’ I assumed you needed to seem like my f - - king principal.”
Altering his notion of jazz as “previous music,” Glasper went on to deliver some recent younger vitality to the style by infusing it with R&B and hip-hop.
“I’ve undoubtedly gotten pushback from jazz purists,” says Glasper, who received an R&B Grammy for his 2012 album “Black Radio” and was nominated for 2013’s “Black Radio 2.” “But when I’m being trustworthy with my story, it has to contain hip-hop, neo-soul, gospel and all this stuff.
“I used to be taking part in gospel after I was 10. I didn’t begin taking part in jazz till I used to be like 16. However these issues are all African-American music. Black music is one big-ass home, and I simply go room to room.”