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Compare and Contrast No.2 | Smells Like Teen Spirit vs. Robert Glasper Experiment

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

Most of you will know this song. 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was written by the band members of Nirvana in 1991 and has been talked about as one of the greatest songs of all time by publications such as Rolling Stone magazine.

The Robert Glasper Experiment covered this song on their first album in 2012 called 'Black Radio'. Robert Glasper himself is a trained jazz musician who has played with trumpeter Roy Hargrove and saxophonist Kenny Garrett amongst others. Several of the band members have years of experience playing gospel and neo-soul music. The fusion of these different traditions has helped them to create a sound which not only resonates with so many people around the world, but is extremely versatile. Have a listen to a live version from 2013 featuring Robert Glasper on keys, Mark Colenburg on drums, Derrick Hodge on bass and Casey Benjamin on the vocoder.

For more, watch this video of the Glasper Experiment playing with the Metropole Orchestra and vocalists Lalah Hathaway and Bilal

  • What is the drummer playing at 0:47?

  • How does the texture change from 2:22?

  • How do the band change the dynamics of the tune?

  • What happens in the drums and keys at 2:42?

  • What is a vocoder?

  • How are the basslines different?

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