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On first listen, Canvas, the major label debut from 27-year-old pianist Robert Glasper sounds decidedly mainstream. However, Glasper comes informed by the broad range of influences that a jazz musician of his generation inevitably does, with deep jazz roots and the sometimes subconscious influence of having grown up also listening to hip hop, R&B and alternative rock. The second time around, the true nature of the music begins to reveal itself, not as much aurally as sensually. The bass is warmer, fatter, and more sanguine; the drums throb, and the piano dances freestyling swing moods.
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