Esperanza Spalding

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.

Esperanza plays tonight (through Sunday) at the Jazz Standard-- a perfect way to spend this Valentine's evening.

If you're in New York:

Esperanza Spalding
February 13-15
7:30 pm & 9:30 pm sets
The Jazz Standard
116 E 27th Street
New York, New York 10016
The Jazz Standard | Tickets


February 14, 2009 at 5:02 PM Kwana said...

How cool is she? Thanks for the intro.

February 15, 2009 at 5:03 PM Harlem Loves said...

Seriously, she is amazing. I'll so be blogging this. And giving you mass credit of course x

February 16, 2009 at 12:57 AM Style Noir said...

Insane, no? I caught wind of her last year at some point and listen to her virtually everyday. I have yet to grow bored-- and likely won't. Ever.

Saw her live last night-- the sound wasn't so hot and she had the flu; nevertheless, she killed.

February 21, 2009 at 6:29 PM Divalocity said...

I just found your blog and had to comment because you wrote about Esperanza Spalding. I've bought both of her CD's and they are excellent. It's a shame that you hardly hear her music on the radio but in due time more people will know who she is.