I've had this post sitting in my queue for sometime, so you can imagine my surprise-- and admitted disappointment-- when I discovered that I'd been beaten to the punch by none other than everyone's favorite Fly Girl. Thankfully, the focus was more on the badass bassist's badass 'fro, rather than her great story or spot on music. So here goes.
Beyond fantastic hair, singing bassist Esperanza Spalding is nothing short of a world-class musician. One of the youngest faculty members in the history of the famed Berklee College of Music, The Portland, Oregon-born Spalding, who was, of course, always into music, sort of stumbled into voice and bass-- not before teaching herself how to play the violin at age five, tinkering with the oboe, clarinet, and cello, becoming concertmaster of the Chamber Music Society of Oregon at age fifteen, writing songs for an indie rock group, and touring with Patti Austin.
Released last may by Heads Up Records, Spalding's second studio album, Esperanza, is an organic mélange of samba, soul, and straight-ahead jazz. Some of her stuff-- which she writes-- is a bit too challenging for popular consumption, but she's got an arsenal of less complex-- but no less thrilling-- material that will please the common denominator.
If you're in New York:
7:30 pm & 9:30 pm sets
The Jazz Standard
116 E 27th Street
New York, New York 10016
The Jazz Standard | Tickets