Robert Glasper leads R+R=NOW for stormy Celebrate Brooklyn blow-out

The history of collectives in jazz are nearly as old as the music itself. Formed by a kinship and unique bond, collectives often united players by their sound, style or approach. The Jazz Messengers, arguably the archetype for modern jazz collectives, served as a breeding ground, rites of passage for the then burgeoning voices, now architects, of this music—from Lee Morgan to Terence Blanchard— for nearly four decades, dating back to the early 1950s. These collectives not only identified for the larger listening audience who these distinctive and individual players were, but simultaneously, they were allies at the height of racism and politically challenging times, who ultimately shaped and challenged the artistic direction of modern jazz.

In the case of the newest collective R+R=NOW, their kinship lies in the fact that almost every member has been deemed as an "outlier" by jazz at large. As recognised players and bandleaders in their own right, their approach to jazz has always been regarded (and panned, by certain critics) as highly conceptual and individualistic. Fusing jazz with elements of electronic, trap, hip-hop and rock, R+R=NOW gathers the next crop of young players, taking a firm position on the validity of jazz's evolution into the new millennium.

As their full name suggests, 'Reflect+Respond=Now' creates music that speaks to the current and highly charged socio-political climate. With celebrated pianist Robert Glasper at the helm, he's gathered an arsenal of emerging and renowned players and composers, all of whom are keeping in the tradition of their jazz forefathers by broadening the scope of what this music can sound like and how it can enthral a new generation of listeners. "If you reflect what is happening and you respond to it, you have no choice but to be of now, of today," remarked Glasper prior to their two-hour-long set.

RR CelebrateBrooklyn 75

R+R=NOW also enlists the talents of Terrace Martin, renowned producer for Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg; Grammy-nominated trumpeter and bandleader Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (pictured above); Derrick Hodge, highly-respected bassist and longtime producer for Maxwell; drummer on the rise Justin Tyson; and DJ/producer/beatboxer Taylor McFerrin.

Making their debut at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn on Friday, 22 June, the evening could have been halted only by the threat of torrential rain showers, as the overcast of clouds hovered over the bandshell and the large droves of folks sprinkled all over Prospect Park.

The night got kicked off by a stirring pre-concert set from Haitian-American singer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Beaubrun, son of Theodore 'Lòlò' and Mimerose 'Manzè' Beaubrun of the Grammy-nominated, legendary Haitian band Boukman Eksperyans.

As the members of R&R=NOW walked onto the stage, their intensity and focus was palpable. Given the current state of affairs, most recently with families being separated at the border under the Trump administration, no time could be wasted in delivering their potent message, one that would resonate and be heard by all. Opening with 'Afro-Centric', from Joe Henderson's 1969 classic album Power to the People (Milestone), was not only an apropos choice, but also featured a prominent solo, originally delivered by Mike Lawrence on the recording, for trumpeter Scott to tackle. Initially impacted by technical feedback, eventually, Scott's signature ferociousness came through as he pushed harder during his solo, while backed by the rhythm section powerhouse of Hodge, Tyson and Glasper. This rhythmic thread was consistent and steadfast throughout much of the set, allowing for Scott, and Martin on alto saxophone, to fly above the night's overcast atmosphere.

The evening also marked the premiere of 'The Liberation Suite', a new work commissioned by BRIC. This highlights Glasper's penchant for arrangement and collaboration, allowing each player ample breathing room to fully demonstrate exactly what they're known for in this music. He understands that only when an artist is unencumbered, that is when they are truly "liberated" and can best express themselves. This allowed for Scott's melodic lines, which he undoubtedly offered his compositional input, to fully compel and resonate in ways that perhaps he hasn't been allowed to on recent solo efforts.

In fact, much of the set demonstrated that when given the appropriate "wings," so to speak, each musician can soar.

– Shannon J. Effinger

– Photos by David Andrako

R+R=NOW play Shepheard's Bush Empire, London tonight, 16 July.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

Taborn's Finessed Tapestry Of Textures F…

  The large number of musicians at this sold-out show says...

Read More.....

Abdullah Ibrahim, Gregory Porter, Yazz A…

The full line-up has been announced for Cheltenham Jazz Festival...

Read More.....

Irreversible Entanglements + Matana Robe…

  Matana Roberts (above) is so relaxed tonight her short opening set...

Read More.....

Jazz FM Awards nominations celebrate gia…

The names for the 2019 Jazz FM Awards were revealed...

Read More.....

Patchwork Jazz Orchestra premiere ‘Badge…

The London-based 17-piece Patchwork Jazz Orchestra are set to release...

Read More.....

NJYO, JCM, friends and family pay tribut…

As Jon Hiseman would say: “If you are going to...

Read More.....

Sons of Kemet, Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia …

The programme has been announced the inaugural We Out Here...

Read More.....

NCO hit bullseye with CTI at Ronnie Scot…

Tomorrow’s Warriors’ role as a springboard for emerging talent in...

Read More.....

Countdown To Ecstasy: Royal Academy Big …

  There are some people, who I've never understood, who smirk...

Read More.....

Melt Yourself Down, Laura Mvula and Kama…

The second edition of Love Supreme at the Roundhouse takes...

Read More.....

Michel Legrand 24/02/1932 – 26/01/2019

The prolific French film composer and pianist Michel Legrand was...

Read More.....

Hamasyan In Inspired Orchestral Manoeuvr…

The Brussels Jazz Festival is a relative newcomer, but this...

Read More.....

Zara McFarlane and Soweto Kinch turn up …

The night goes on and they keep on coming, a...

Read More.....

Jazz meets theatrical protest with The A…

Few styles of music can claim to have come as...

Read More.....

Snarky Puppy return with new album Immig…

Grammy-winning groove crew Snarky Puppy return with a new studio...

Read More.....

Blue Note spearheads 80th Anniversary Ye…

The iconic Blue Note label will celebrate its milestone 80th...

Read More.....

John Turville dives in Head First – new …

Pianist and composer John Turville returns with a new album...

Read More.....

Uri Caine and Henri Texier dazzle while …

Jazzfestival Münster is celebrating its 40th anniversary, but has only...

Read More.....

Ezra Collective bring the Brit-Jazz Nois…

Much like in other recent editions of New York's Winter...

Read More.....

Yazz Ahmed and Jasper Høiby line-up for …

For some there is a Holy Grail in jazz: to...

Read More.....

Matthew Herbert marks Brexit with Big Ba…

Composer, conductor and sampling-supremo Matthew Herbert is set to release...

Read More.....

Joseph Jarman 14/09/37 – 9/01/19

  The recitation of 'Non-Cognitive Aspects Of The City' by Dante...

Read More.....

Wandering Monster step up with 'Samsara…

Bass-led progressive jazz group Wandering Monster are set to release...

Read More.....

Cécile McLorin Salvant, Oded Tzur Quarte…

  The unfeasibly warm November weather was matched by the heat...

Read More.....

Edinburgh embraces the Thrill of Belgian…

Belgium may be better known for its beer than its...

Read More.....

Mitchener And Yarde Break Blues Boundari…

The blues is a lived and living truth, as much...

Read More.....

Ra's Arkestra Announces Annual Lewes Aff…

The Sun Ra Arkestra – led by that indomitable intergalactic...

Read More.....

Steve Williamson, Silje Nergaard and Tin…

Southampton’s Turner Sims music venue has announced an impressive line-up...

Read More.....

19-year-old vibraphonist Sasha Berliner …

19-year-old vibraphonist Sasha Berliner wins LetterOne Rising Stars Award California-based...

Read More.....

Nordic Wonders: Rune Grammofon Bring The…

Determined individuals who ignore categories define the Norwegian scene, in...

Read More.....

Mehldau Marvels At Jazztopad

  The entire spectrum can dazzle at Jazztopad, a Polish festival in...

Read More.....

Jazz FM Awards return for 2019

The Jazz FM Awards return for a sixth time next...

Read More.....

Chick Corea, Madeleine Peyroux and Kamaa…

The organisers of the Love Supreme Jazz Festival, which runs...

Read More.....

Peter Boizot 1929 – 2018

The press obituaries for Peter Boizot, who has died aged...

Read More.....

David Mossman – 17 July 1942 - 8 Decembe…

Ahead of starting the Vortex in 1988, there is nothing...

Read More.....

Greg Fox and Pulverize The Sound punish …

  The second phase of Poland’s Jazz Jantar festival involved five nights...

Read More.....

Making The Cut Mpu 300x500px

Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

Some great improvisers (Phil Durrant, NO Moore, Ken Ikea and Eddie Prevost) shaking their strings and circuits this… https://t.co/7rMbedant7
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
Office vibes: the beautiful sax drones of Dickie Landry https://t.co/gOzUSPRviB @Unseen_Worlds
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA