Release Date: Jun 22, 2018
Record label: Blue Note
Genre(s): Jazz, R&B, Jazz Instrument, Modern Creative, Post-Bop, Alternative R&B, Electric Jazz
Keyboardist Robert Glasper purportedly came up with the concept for R+R=Now (which means reflect and respond now), his forward-looking jazz supergroup, while producing Nina Revisited, a companion album to the 2015 Nina Simone documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? While musically far afield of Simone's own literate, bluesy piano-and-vocal style of jazz, R+R=Now's debut album, 2018's Collagically Speaking, has a cinematic quality that speaks to Glasper's original impulse to make music inspired by Simone's artistically adventurous, socially and politically minded work. Joining Glasper are a handful of equally adventurous jazz iconoclasts, including trumpeter Christian Scott, bassist Derrick Hodge, drummer Justin Tyson, keyboardist Taylor McFerrin, and keyboardist and singer Terrace Martin. All of these musicians, not the least being Glasper, have their own distinctively cross-pollinated discographies that dip into jazz, R&B, hip-hop, electronica, film scores, and beyond.
There's a now-famous clip of the soul and jazz icon Nina Simone pleading with her peers to do more with their art. Her voice is declarative, her eyes full of vigor. "I choose to reflect the times and the situations in which I find myself," Simone tells the interviewer.