Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1094

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Robert Glasper with Chris Dave, Derrick Hodge: Roundhouse, London 3/7/19

Robert Glasper: Roundhouse, London 3/7/19 (Innervisions Festival)
Robert Glasper: Roundhouse, London 3/7/19 (Innervisions Festival) Robert Glasper: Roundhouse, London 3/7/19 (Innervisions Festival) Robert Glasper: Roundhouse, London 3/7/19 (Innervisions Festival) Chris Dave with Robert Glasper: Roundhouse, London 3/7/19 (Innervisions Festival)

Last year an innovative new festival arrived in London for the first time. The Innervisions Festival was a celebration of jazz, funk, soul and even some hip-hop, and boasted a stellar lineup of artists at venues across London.

Highlights from the first year included Lalah Hathaway, Angie Stone, Jimmy Cliff and Mavis Staples - among a host of others. So as the new event headed into its second year, it was intriguing to see where it went after an explosive start. And what better way to kick it off that with bandleader Robert Glasper, whose wide musical experience arguably encompasses all of the aforementioned genres?

Glasper was joined by Chris Dave and Derrick Hodge, with support coming from the impressive Celeste. The list of artists the three band members have worked with is astonishing, and their accomplishment was evident from the moment they took to the stage.

Glasper gigs - this is the fourth time I've seen him, including one which he did alongside Yasiin Bey last year - can often feel like extended jams, with long sequences of improvisation.

And there's nothing wrong with that, with the sparse production of "Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box" (I'm told it started life as a Radiohead song) giving Glasper a rare chance to show off his vocals.

The bandleader - whose "Black Radio" album was a phenomenon a few years back - is easygoing and jokes with Dave and Hodge about having taught them everything they know.

Singer Daley made an impressive appearance before an unexpected cameo from rapper Lupe Fiasco stuns the audience. The hip-hop star, who would undoubtedly draw a large crowd in his own right, sounded on top form as he delivered "Always Shine" alongside the trio.

With Glasper's musical range astonishingly diverse, the Innervisions Festival opener was a good showcase for a top talent.

Words Dave Burke

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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