On harmonica, for a brief, yet memorable moment was Gregoire Maret. What I did not know was that you can really play the harmonica. We’re not talking about the technical element of the instrument (which he does brilliantly, I might add). We’re talking about what Little Richard did on the keys, what Chuck Berry did on the guitar. We’re talking about the difference between someone who was “singing” and someone who was “sangin,’” as they might say in the black church. With every other note, Maret dipped and swayed as his bended knees supported a man unbridled. To watch this seemingly mild-mannered individual take off his metaphorical cool was perhaps the most amusingly captivating moment of the night. It was showmanship at its finest and most unexpected.
Just as the dust has begun to settle from the Robert Glasper Experiment’s monumental release, Black Radio, the group has announced yet another game-changer with Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP where producers will be flipping some tracks from the album as well as some unreleased tunes. And when they say producers, this isn’t some standard line-up of producers. Confirmed to be attached to the project are ?uestlove, 9th Wonder, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Pete Rock, with contributions from rappers Black Milk and Phonte, The Roots, and vocalist Solange Knowles.
At 18, Stevie Wonder was still deeply invested in the hit machine known as Motown. It was, however, just that—a machine. There was an understanding that the process of music making was a mechanical endeavor—ostensibly manufactured. Under this theory of production, artists vanquished much, if not all of their creative freedoms for the sake of well-tested, radio friendly records. For Stevie, this changed in 1970 when he, at the markedly young age of 20, leveraged his own potential, gaining the first Motown contract proving complete artistic autonomy.