Robert Glasper, "Double Booked"

Album Review

Is it bop or hip-hop? Although it doesn't answer that question, Robert Glasper's third album for Blue Note Records, "Double Booked," sheds light on different sides of his prodigious talent. The title of the new set refers to Glasper's double duties as leader of his own jazz trio and studio/sideman for acts like Maxwell, the Roots and Mos Def. The album is evenly split between trio jazz and Glasper's more electronic leanings. With the trio, he reworks Thelonious Monk's gem "Think of One," and Herbie Hancock's expansive "Butterfly" sounds as fresh as it did in 1974. And the album's closing tracks-"All Matter" and "Open Mind" -feature Bilal on vocals. The genre-bending on "Double Booked" doesn't feel out of place for Glasper, who seems equally at ease with both sides of his nature. Let's hope he never settles on one style or the other: Call it "hip-bop." --LeLand Rucker