Esperanza Spalding: Chamber Music Society

Esperanza Spalding
Chamber Music Society
(Heads Up International)

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Esperanza Spalding is a perfectionist. Not a stuffy purist, but an elegantly charming master upright bass wizard with vocals that soothe in every dynamic. Her voice ranges from a splendid soprano that oozes with an understated sexiness to rollercoaster scats which soar and dip, sounding wildly engaging and dare the listener to hold on.

Never too inaccessible despite the intricacy, Chamber Music Society is a gift to the musically bored needing a new road to sonically traverse. Romantic, wistful and at times edgy, yet still remaining atmospherically warm, the album sometimes stays true to the sauntering, hip, groovy side of modern jazz with mighty funk swings and Brazilian rhythms notably played out in nicely meshed fusions; each bit comes to the forefront in stunningly sensual textures.

At 26 years old, this Portland, Oregon native has all the organic makings to transform the jazz world by turning the untouchable genre on its head. By the looks of things, that is just what has happened. A self-taught violinist as a child, Spalding went on to become one of the youngest professors at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music. With the aid of the masterful Gil Goldstein on arrangements, the palpable beats of Terri Lyne Carrington, Gretchen Parlato’s hypnotic vocals and Leo Genovese, who is riotous on piano, Chamber Music Society is Spalding’s third album. The first jazz musician to ever win a Best New Artist Grammy, Esperanza Spalding is quickly becoming a beacon of the young, fresh higher tier musical elite. Chamber Music Society is a fiercely upbeat jazz album that pushes boundaries with the delicacy of a feather and the fierceness of a lion, in this case, a lioness.

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