I Stand Alone
Label: Blue Note (BLU)
Black Radio wasn't just fun, it also proved that pop and jazz needn't be estranged. So on the sequel we've got more rap-world stars: Common takes "I Stand Alone," while Lupe Fiasco and Snoop share "Persevere." But the album's real strength is its singers. Glasper's jam with Brandy ("What Are We Doing") is the standout, and tracks with Marsha Ambrosius ("Trust"), and Jill Scott ("Calls") are great, too. "Let It Ride" holds a breathy Norah Jones vocal, while Faith Evans enlivens "You Own Me." Glasper's keys offer subtle accompaniment, and Mark Colenburg's drums keep things from seeming too safe.