Dinner Party couldn't be a more fitting name for the supergroup of Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, and Kamasi Washington, who played an excellent show at Terminal 5 last night (3/9). The trio of jazz mavens brought a casualness to their performance, sharing long stories with the crowd and stepping out of the light to replenish their drinks and take in their bandmates' solos. Their backing band was stacked as well: Dinner Party were joined by bassist Burniss Travis, drummer Justin Tyson, Isaiah Sharkey on guitar (who played an excellent instrumental interlude early in the show), and DJ Jahi Sundance (who opened the night). They began the night with guest vocals from Arin Ray, joining them on "Sleepless Nights" and their new single "Insane," and later brought out Bilal for some verses as well.

Robert (wearing one of his "who the fuck is Robert Glasper" shirts, inspired by Chris Brown's Grammy rant) and Terrace shared emcee duties, bantering with each other and the crowd for long stretches. Robert explained how he met Terrace, while at jazz camp in Colorado when he was in high school. Terrace asked him if he wanted to come on tour with Snoop Dogg when Robert was in twelfth grade. Terrace took over and told the crowd how he was introduced to Kamasi when they were 14 or 15. Terrace lived in the Crenshaw district, Kamasi in Inglewood, and their first time performing together was in a trio with Wayne Shorter.

The loose set featured variations on solo tracks by Terrace ("Drones," "Valdez Off Crenshaw"), Kamasi ("Final Thought," which led into a chant of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme"), and Robert's project R+R=NOW ("Needed You Still"). DJ Jahi Sundance ripped samples of Robert's "Afro Blue," Biggie classic "Juicy," and more over the course of the night.

Much of Dinner Party's set took a thoroughly free approach to the compositions, giant far-reaching solos included. Kamasi drifted into intense grooves, often at a breakneck tempo--Terrace appeared to yell into his ear during one of them, ostensibly hyping him up. Terrace handled vocals and other samples, using talkbox effects on his mic to harmonize with himself. He pulled out his alto sax a few times as well, playing in harmony with Kamasi on "Insane," "Final Thought," and more, and sharing his own wicked solos. Robert's solo variations skewed more contemporary-classical on piano, slipping into minimalistic patterns before returning to comfortable melodic jazz grooves. One of his solos was entirely a capella; others bounced off bass and drums with flair.

They ended the night playing variations on tracks from Kendrick Lamar's iconic To Pimp A Butterfly, for which they had served as the de-facto house band. Robert detailed how Terrace had helped him cover Kendrick's "Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst," and how he looped him back in to play on "For Free?" Kendrick loved his performance so much, he ended up pulling up eight more tracks for Robert to play over, saying, "Just play what you hear." The band closed the set with Arin Ray once more on "Freeze Tag," the standout hit from their 2020 self-titled album. The gradual fadeout at the song's end, with Robert once again announcing all the players, added to the informal feel of the evening.

Check out photos by P Squared, including one of the setlist, and fan-shot videos below.

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