Jazz supergroup R+R=NOW have shared an enthralling live album recorded during bandleader Robert Glasper’s month-long residency at New York City’s Blue Note Jazz Club in October 2018.
R+R=Now Live features lively renditions of tracks from the ensemble’s 2018 debut Collagically Speaking alongside a rework of Kendrick Lamar’s “How Much a Dollar Cost.” The To Pimp a Butterfly track was co-written by R+R=NOW’s Terrace Martin, who has frequently collaborated with Lamar since the former musician’s 2010 album Here, My Dear.
Glasper’s residency closely followed the release of Collagically Speaking, giving his group a chance to perform their experimental album on a renowned stage for the first time. The recording captures the moment when Omari Hardwick joined the group for “Needed You Still,” lending his impassioned vocals to the percussion-focused track.
Glasper formed R+R=NOW in 2017 when he was tasked with creating an all-star line-up for the prestigious festival South by Southwest. He is joined by Martin on synthesizer, vocoder and alto saxophone, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah on trumpet, Derrick Hodge on bass, Taylor McFerrin on synthesizer and Justin Tyson on drums.
“It’s very rare that you can get these types of guys together and everybody really, actually, listens,” Glasper said in a recent First Look episode with Blue Note Records President Don Was. “It’s like having five point guards—everybody is used to having the ball—but when we get together, everybody plays a position, and everybody switches positions, so there is no point guard. I put the band together, but I don’t feel like it’s my band at all. It’s just us.”
Listen to R+R=Now Live here: