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

Written by on June 18, 2018

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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