Song - Artist - Album
Mouthful of Diamonds - Phantogram - Eyelid Movies
Esperanza shocked the world last week with her Grammy Nomination as Best New Artist, much to the dismay of millions of teenage Justin Bieber fans. I've seen Esperanza Spalding perform both as a leader and as the bass player with Joe Lovano and others. Her talents on bass are impressive. I felt her first album titled Esperanza to be of mediocre interest. She showed some great chops on the bass, her writing was creative, and her vocals were compelling at first, but kind of grew annoying after listening for a while.
On Chamber Music Society, her latest release, she expands her musical breadth, fusing a more classical sound with the addition of a small string ensemble, Brazilian rhythms (Jobim compositions), poetic lyrics, and of course deeply steeped in her jazz background and influences. Her writing and arranging is brilliant. She truly creates a unique sound all her own.
Given Esperanza's youth and her considerable talents, not to mention the notoriety of being a Grammy winner, its safe to assume the we will be hearing much more from Esperanza Spalding. She certainly has the opportunity to bring new directions and attract a larger audience to the Jazz as an art form. I have listened to Chamber Music Society a couple of times now and each time I am drawn to these new sounds and creative compositions and arrangements. This album seems to achieve both accessibility and a creative vision that for some reason is a rare thing for modern jazz music. I recommend that you give this album a listen.