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What I’m listening to today

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I love many different kinds of music, but my heart belongs to jazz. What I love about jazz is that it offers a chance for constant change. You have a tune, but instead of playing it straight like you do in basically any other kind of music, you have the chance to improvise, to reinvent, to listen and react, to stay playful. And jazz can mean so many different things. I just googled types of jazz and was given 44 different subgenres, although I’m sure this is by no means an exhaustive list. This form, born in the bordellos of New Orleans, has constantly evolved and reinvented itself. One of my favorite jazz artists today is Robert Glasper. What I love about Glasper is that he brings in other elements, like hip hop, R&B and electronica, he deconstructs pop songs and makes them his own. Check out what he does with Prince’s Sign O The Times. The bass line from the original song comes in at times, but otherwise the song has been completely reinvented.

Not that it necessarily needed to be reinvented. Prince kicked ass. Rest In Peace, your royal purple highness.

I went to go see Robert Glasper at Gretchen in Berlin last night and the show was amazing, at times almost religious. What he said in this interview with the Harvard Crimson also makes so much sense to me:

THC: In a 2012 interview with Downbeat, you said, “I’ve gotten bored with jazz to the point where I wouldn’t mind something bad happening.” Do you think jazz has a shelf life?

RG: Yes. People tend to look at jazz like it’s dead. Even in schools, when they teach jazz, it’s “jazz history.” The way to stay current is to play songs that have something to do with you and your life story. I’m not doing anything futuristic. A lot of people say, “You’re the future!” But jazz is so far behind that the present seems like the future. I’m just playing the present. I’m not ignoring what actually inspires me.

„I’m not ignoring what actually inspires me.“ Such a great line for writing or any kind of art really.

Today, while I work on my boring day gig work, I’m listening to a lot of Glasper, like:

and

and

and

and

And in between I’ll switch over to other playlists and listen to this

and this

and this

and this

and this

and this

and this

and, what the hell, why not a little Pete Seeger to top it off.

Happy listening everyone.

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