Robert Glasper & Bilal At NPR Music's 10th Anniversary Concert

Robert Glasper's music is a study in convergences. A pianist, bandleader and composer with a strong foothold in modern jazz, he belongs no less to the terrain of contemporary gospel, alternative hip-hop — and R&B, the category under which he won his first two Grammy awards (of three). Glasper has carved a signature out of this cross-genre dialogue; consult his recent explainer for Jazz Night in America, about the jazz roots of some famous hip-hop samples. At NPR Music's 10th Anniversary Concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., Glasper came to play, bringing longtime associate Derrick Hodge on electric bass and a newer collaborator, Justin Tyson, on drums. The performance began with something like an invocation, as Hodge played a chiming and meditative elaboration on "Portrait of Tracy," a ballad by Jaco Pastorius. What came next was an unbilled guest: Bilal, the shape-shifting R&B vocalist who has known Glasper since the first day of freshman year at the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music in New York. They dug into "All Matter," a tune that first appeared on Glasper's 2009 album Double Booked, later resurfacing on Bilal's 2010 release Airtight Revenge.

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