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Review: Jazz’s New-School Stars Band Together on R+R=Now’s ‘Collagically Speaking’

Robert Glasper, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Terrace Martin and more revel in their collaborative vibe on this supergroup’s debut LP

Once
upon a time, the main currency of jazz was a soloist’s improvisational
flow; today, it’s all about collective vibe. That
principle plays out in handsomely chill fashion on the debut from new
all-star ensemble R+R=Now, which doubles as a statement of purpose for a
new generation of jazzers. If you’ve been following this movement,
you’ll recognize many of the names here – including
keyboardist-bandleader Robert Glasper, trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde
Adjuah, synth players Terrace Martin (the alto saxophonist on To
Pimp a Butterfly
)
and Taylor McFerrin, and bassist Derrick Hodge – as well as the album’s
lush, roomy sound. Singing, rapping and
spoken-word float through these tracks, as do soulful improvs from
Adjuah, Glasper and others, but what lingers is the overall aura: a
no-seams-showing blend of jazz, R&B and hip-hop, with a spontaneous
“3 a.m. in the studio” feel.

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