Robert Glasper unveils his technique for sampling a soulful Miles Davis groove with the interactive “Art of Sampling” online experience. The site allows users to highlight and inspect musical elements from Glasper’s “Ghetto Walkin'” – lead and backing vocals, keyboards, bass, drums, guitar and the sample from Davis’ “The Ghetto Walk” – and re-contextualize them in unique ways.
“Art of Sampling” also features interview clips with Glasper explaining how the track came together as part of Everything’s Beautiful. As musical supervisor, arranger and composer for this Davis biopic Miles Ahead, Glasper was granted access to the Davis archives and allowed to experiment with the material.
“The Ghetto Walk” originated from a session that resulted in Davis’ innovative 1969 studio album, In a Silent Way. Glasper isolated one two-chord pattern from the nearly 27-minute piece (released as part of the 2001 box set The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions) and looped it into the foundation for a jazz/hip-hop track.
“‘Ghetto Walk’ was so dope,” he says. “I got the concept quick because the name was already there. It’s called ‘Ghetto Walk.’ Those chord changes we sampled lend themselves to hip-hop so well.”
Glasper also discusses the track’s evolution, which included a beat from his friend Jewels and a shadowy hook from neo-soul singer Bilal.
Everything’s Beautiful, released to mark what would have been Davis’ 90th birthday, also includes contributions from Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu and John Scofield, among others.