Album of the week – Everything’s Beautiful by Robert Glasper
‘Everything’s Beautiful’ by Robert Glasper is Eastside Radio’s album of the week.
Like each ‘Album of the Week’ we feature for you here at Eastside it is very special, however this week’s chosen album brings us the sounds of one of the hallmark legends of the genre of Jazz. Grammy award winner Robert Glasper has produced an album bringing the original works of Miles Davis back to life in a reimagined talentely interpreted style.
Released on the 27th of May this year, the day after what would have been Miles Davis’s 90th birthday, the album brings us 11 tracks of the most daring modern shake up, of one of the all time greats. It is a brave move to try and cover/use Miles Davis’ work but saying that this record shines through with freshness, uniqueness, and talent. Having worked as musical supervisor for the ‘Miles Ahead’ film which was released this year, which is an exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis and having co-produced the soundtrack for the film it is no wonder that Glasper has his head well tuned in for the making of a good record and knowing what to use and what not to use.
Throughout the album we get to hear soundbites from Miles Davis’ Columbia Records era (from 1955 to 1985) that features riffs, new takes, and samples of Davis talking in the studio. Appearing on the album along with Glasper is a long cast of collaborators, including Erykah Badu, Bilal, Stevie Wonder, Hiatus Coyote, Illa J, 9th Wonder, Georgia Anne Muldrownot and Phonte. An album that not only delivers on quality and imagination there is a also a host of stand out talent involved.
There is some really quirky works that Glasper has created that are well deserved a listen as they bring a real sense of reimagining to Davis’ work. Tracks such as ‘Mayisha’ where Glasper brought on the vocals of Erykah Badu who is known for her R&B/Soul work and has played a track himself that was recorded in 1974 by Davis into something magical. The slow paced trumpet works as a lovely backdrop to the R&B sounding vibes, that makes it sound like they were made for each other. Another track that breaks down the boundaries, as does the entire album, is Glasper’s unique cover of ‘Milestone’s’. If you know Davis’ work this would be a track that would be hard to match, however Glasper takes a different approach to it as he uses lots of funky beats to start off with and has the echoed vocals of Georgia Anne Muldrownot a Jazz-fusion/Funk musician from Los Angeles, then Glasper’s talented finger work breaks in with the keyboard to make for a totally different sound to the original ‘Milestones’ that we know of.
If you are a fan of Miles Davis this is a must hear as it shows how his music, ideas and creativeness are in a league of their own, that to this day they are still being released with fresh twists that sound so well. On the other hand if you are not a huge Miles Davis fan this album is still definitely worth a listen as it is so much more then what you might think, a remix album is certainly not the right term it is a tribute album that has been given a lot of focus and passion. Using samples of archive recordings and producing his own style on sounds from a different era Glasper has made an album to be well proud of.
Artist and Track Listing
- Talking Shit
- Ghetto Walkin featuring Bilal
- They Can’t Hold Me Down featuring Illa J
- Maiysha (So Long) featuring Erykah Badu
- Violets featuring Phonte
- Little Church featuring Hiatus Kaiyote
- Silence Is The Way featuring Laura Mvula
- Song For Selim featuring KING
- Milestones featuring Georgia Ann Muldrow
I’m Leaving You featuring John Scofield and Ledisi
Right On Brotha featuring Stevie Wonder
You can follow Robert Glasper’s career via his FACEBOOK page, or at robertglasper.com. For an extended listen to the album, tune in on Thursday from 1.30PM – 2PM for ‘Album of the Week’ with Josh Crosbie. You must be a supporter to win so make sure to sign up at http://eastsidefm.org/support-us-2/. Don’t forget you can also stream the station at WWW.EASTSIDEFM.ORG.