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Robert Glasper's landmark fusion of jazz and hip hop Add to ...

In some circles, the quest for a viable fusion of jazz and hip hop has been as frustrating and intense as the search for Higgs boson.

In theory, such a fusion should be possible. Both genres are improvisational and share a common root in African-American music. A huge number of rap hits have been built around samples from jazz albums, and jazz musicians have even recorded with rap groups (for instance, bassist Ron Carter with A Tribe Called Quest). But getting the two elements together isn’t quite the same thing as joining them, and most attempts to date have resulted not in a genuine fusion but a sort of lumpy stew.

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