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ArtScience by Robert Glasper Experiment

Robert Glasper Experiment


Release Date: Sep 16, 2016

Genre(s): Jazz, R&B, Contemporary Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Electric Jazz

Record label: Blue Note


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Album Review: ArtScience by Robert Glasper Experiment

Great, Based on 6 Critics

Exclaim - 80
Based on rating 8/10

With ArtScience, quartet Robert Glasper Experience have — more or less — made a straight-up jazz record. That said, it's never constrained by genre trappings; having thoroughly explored the premise of the influence of black artists and culture within today's music on the Black Radio record series, bandleader Glasper shifts gears here, just a bit; unlike those outings, there are no guest stars here to lean on — not that the quartet needed any help. "The reality is, my people have given the world so many styles of music, so many different styles.

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The Guardian - 80
Based on rating 4/5

With last year’s Covered, free-thinking idiom-bender Robert Glasper imaginatively used a classic acoustic-trio jazz lineup to rework pop-structured songs. ArtScience reassembles his vocoder-dominated Experiment quartet, but this time with all the members joining the electronically massaged vocals in a recalibration of the group’s balance of pop, dance and jazz methods. The fast jazz swing, skidding avant-bop sax and acoustic walking bass of the opener immediately flags that up, before electronically warped crowd sounds and a hard-struck hip-hop groove intervene.

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AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10

After the unqualified critical, chart, sales, and Grammy successes of the Robert Glasper Experiment's two Black Radio albums, remixes, and singles, the need to explore was requisite. ArtScience is a reflection of the qualities and musical interests that brought this band together. Their seamless meld of contemporary jazz, hip-hop, neo-soul, pop, and rock has influenced a host of artists following in their wake.

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Pitchfork - 76
Based on rating 7.6/10

For almost a decade, Robert Glasper has been the standard-bearer for jazz music’s fusion with hip-hop, soul, and rock, turning songs like Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Radiohead’s “Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box” into kinetic electro-funk mashups. With his Experiment band, Glasper, vocalist/saxophonist Casey Benjamin, drummer Mark Colenburg, and bassist Derrick Hodge tend to leapfrog different genres, making music that’s rooted in jazz and R&B and impossible to peg. “My people have given the world so many styles of music,” Glasper declares at the top of ArtScience, the Experiment’s new album.

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PopMatters - 70
Based on rating 7/10

When we last left the Robert Glasper Experiment, it stood knee-deep in star power with the Black Radio series, featuring everyone from Erykah Badu to Faith Evans to Malcolm-Jamal Warner on classic jazz tracks with a strong neo-soul angle. The quartet topped the Billboard jazz charts, scored a Grammy, and, of course, did quite a number on genre boundaries. Three years later, the glut of famous guests are nowhere to be seen.

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Los Angeles Times
Opinion: Very Good

Those searching for a breakout success story in jazz over the last five years would be hard-pressed to top Robert Glasper. However, for a better read on the trajectory of the Houston-born keyboardist, it may be more instructive to think of “breakout” in terms of what one does to leave a prison. Already a rising star on the strength of albums that could merge an admiration for the beats of J Dilla into a piano trio, Glasper shook up the genre with his band the Experiment and its Grammy-winning 2012 debut “Black Radio,” which rode an open-door policy to the sounds of R&B, rock and hip-hop to something jazz had rarely seen: crossover success with a young audience.

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