Jazz Pianist Sparks Fury
Pianist Robert Glasper has attracted a social media backlash after comments he made in an interview with fellow pianist, Ethan Iverson.
During the interview for Iverson’s well-respected blog, Do The M@th, Glasper was discussing playing groove-based music instead of extended soloing, and stated “Playing that groove […] women love that. They don’t love a whole lot of soloing. When you hit that one groove and stay there, it’s like musical clitoris. You’re there, you stay on that groove, and the women’s eyes close and they start to sway, going into a trance.” Glasper also described some women as “Women you would never think listen to jazz”.
The publication of this interview prompted outrage from feminists and female jazz musicians and fans alike, with many commentators criticizing Glasper and Iversons ‘Boys’ Club’ mentality about jazz. Both men initially defended their comments, with Glasper stating via Twitter “'jazz police' are funny..if you love jazz so much stop whining about my quotes u don't understand and make a good album and stop sucking”. Iverson, meanwhile, stated on his blog, “I'm a liberal and I'm feminist; this is a case of other liberals and feminists seeing a weakness and attacking. This is part of why Trump won”.
These statements only fuelled the anger even further, though, with both men still receiving angry comments. To add insult to injury, this debacle took place on the week of International Womens’ Day 2017.
Some commentators, however, were grateful to Iverson for publishing the unedited interview, as they felt it showed Glasper for the provocateur he is.