PALO ALTO — Dinner Party consists of highly notable musicians behind your favorite hip-hop soundtracks (as well as some of your favorite jazz). Saxophonist Terrace Martin, pianist Robert Glasper, trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and bassist Phoelix performed their self-titled album Dinner Party, providing an elegant outdoor experience at Palo Alto’s Frost Amphitheater, for the first time since joining efforts during the pandemic in 2020.
The show was the opening night of the monthly series of concerts hosted by SFJAZZ in collaboration with Stanford Live.
The group walked on-stage to Tyler, The Creator’s IGOR theme to excited cheers and laughter as Robert Glasper said hello.
Nearly identical to their album, their performance began with “Sleepless Nights” with a fantastic solo by Christian Scott and complementary, eloquent vocals by Phoelix. Simultaneously, the entire band performed together in harmony like its been touring together for years. It was hard to miss Robert Glasper’s stunning movements on the piano, backed by producer Jahi Sundance.
Dinner Party followed up with another single, “Love You Bad,” which included tasteful vocals by Phoelix. Another highlight was an improv freestyle performance sampling Kendrick Lamar’s “How Much A Dollar Cost.”
Dinner Party’s main theme of discussion brought awareness to the injustice of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and the acts of police brutality against them. Robert Glapser performed a touching piano solo with DJ Jahi Sundance playing an excerpt from Dave Chappelle special “8:46,” which included audio naming some victims of police brutality: “They told me put my hands up behind my head. I think they got the wrong one. I’m sick and tired of runnin.’ I been searchin’ where the love went. I been lookin’ for a dove, then they told me if I move, they gon’ shoot me dead.” The encore included “Freeze Tag.”
Terrace Martin opened the show with a DJ set that included the soulful vocals of Curis Mayfield’s “The Makings of You” and later transitioning to Kanye West’s & Jay-Z’s “The Joy.”