Concorde 2 in Brighton is renowned for its eclectic array of events (ranging from Miles Kane to Meshuggah) and its devotion to ‘good’ music. Tonight is no different. The atmosphere is palpable, as lines of musical ‘virtuosos’ and Ginsberg-ian poets converge on the venue, each ‘hemming & hawing’ in perfect harmony. The show begins with the musical congruity of Rapper/Saxophonist Soweto Kinch , whose discordant harmonies and lyrical prowess sway the entire crowd. With a presence that is unshakeable and a band that is more than admirable, Kinch presents us with an intricate mix of bebop jazz saxophone, whimsical rap (remnant of Q-Tip himself) and grass roots hip-hop/grime crossover. Notably, his freestyle rap at the end of the show, containing a new word beginning with every letter in the name ‘Brighton’, is particularly impressive. A show like this puts Kinch at the forefront of a solid future for British hip-hop music (at last). Some might know Kinch from his didactic appearances on the underground freestyle show Don’t Flop, however, it is his Charlie Parker-esque fluidity on the saxophone, as well as the microphone, that will make him a mainstay of British music in the future.
Moving on now to the main event of this evening, The Robert Glasper Experiment[?], the band so infinitely talented, that an arbitrary rating would do no justice to the American quartet. The show is electric; a rhapsody of smooth and articulate jazz freedom, effortless hooks and, of particular note, incredible renditions of Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day’ and Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’. Glasper and the band are truly fluent in their approach to music, finding time for every member of the quartet to ‘let loose’ with their own style of solo expression. Glasper’s most recent release, Black Radio II, in October of 2013, cements him firmly as a mainstay of today’s modern R’N’B and Soul movement, as well as the contemporary Jazz scene. Alongside such artists as Esperanza Spalding and Jill Scott, Glasper’s approach to Hip-Hop and Jazz is a sign of a more cogent approach to modern day R’N’B as a whole. It is music like that of the performance tonight that seeks to pay homage to the founding influences of Jazz and Blues of the early 20th century, whilst advancing in the canon of modern music (as opposed to the recycled ‘rappers’ on the radio today). In short, Soweto Kinch and The Robert Glasper Experiment make for an unforgettable experience; both playing extended sets, signing albums at the end of the show and paving the way for intelligent and progressive music.
Written by Matthew Iredale