Missouri City native Robert Glasper is already a seasoned veteran, but now he may be urban music's next great hope. He's already been touted in those "Faces to Watch" kind of features in Billboard and the L.A. Times this year, and the push behind his new Blue Note album Black Radio suggests the keyboardist's days of paying the bills backing other artists — he was Maxwell's bandleader on the smooth operator's 2009 tour — may be at an end. Although 2009 album Double Booked was split in two between elegant jazz (Thelonious Monk's "Think of One") and contemporary R&B (Mos Def showed up), Black Radio welcomes Erykah Badu, Lupe Fiasco, Bilal, Musiq Soulchild, Ledisi, Meshell Ndegeocello and Chrisette Michele, just to name a few. It's hard to imagine a better list of black alternative talent, or a better man to unlock those artists' gifts while Glasper's low-key kind of cool remains at the center of it all.
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