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ALBUM REVIEW | JAZZ/R&B

Robert Glasper Experiment, ‘Black Radio 2’

The follow-up to Robert Glasper’s Grammy-winning breakthrough builds on its predecessor by reframing the sound of contemporary urban music. Glasper reconnects hip-hop with its humanity, eliminates its self-mythologizing cliches, and injects the warmth and individuality back into R&B. As on volume one, the jazz pianist collaborates with a variety of vocalists and MCs by utilizing their strengths in imaginative ways or placing them in different environments to coax out new shades of their talents. The latter is most evident on the revelatory “Let It Ride” where Norah Jones is recontextualized with a drum and bass vibe. On “What Are We Doing” Brandy, stripped of processed beats, flourishes amid the languid groove. The Experiment ensemble is fluid and, at times, bold. Jill Scott delivers a playful vocal on “Calls” and the underrated Marsha Ambrosius brings sensuality to a pensive “Trust.” The hip-hop tracks meander but that doesn’t dilute this worthy sequel. (Out Tuesday) Ken Capobianco


ESSENTIAL “Let It Ride”

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