Archive for August 18th, 2010

Esperanza Spalding – Chamber Music Society

It doesn’t get much sweeter than this. Soft, elegant strings and the sweet, angelic voice of Esperanza Spalding. Such is the artist’s charming adaptation of “Little Fly,” the poem by William Blake. The tranquil, soothing piece opens the adventurous, eclectic Chamber Music Society, Spalding’s second release on Heads Up International.

Born in 1984 in Portland, Oregon, Spalding grew up in a multi-lingual household. She took an interest in music after seeing cellist Yo Yo Ma on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. After teaching herself to play violin, she landed a spot in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. Years later, after formal training at Berklee College of Music, she caught the ear of renowned bassist Stanley Clarke. Since then, she has earned rave reviews and made numerous television appearances, including the 10th annual BET Music Awards program. Late night talk show host David Letterman has referred to Spalding as “the coolest guest” he’s ever had.

It’s hard to say that a second recording is wholly representative. However, Chamber Music Society tells a lot about Spalding. It’s a melting pot of sound from a charming, young artist who isn’t afraid to cross genres or challenge preconceived boundaries. While Spalding plays acoustic bass and provides the voice, she is accompanied for the most part by Leo Genovese on piano, Rhodes and melodica; Terri Lyne Carrington on drums; Quintino Cinalli on percussion; Entcho Todorov on violin; and Lois Martin on viola.

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