Esperanza Spalding

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Esperanza Spalding
LABELS: Decca
ALBUM TITLE: Esperanza Spalding
WORKS: Radio Music Society
PERFORMER: Esperanza Spalding (vocal, bass)m Joe Lovano, Daniel Blake (sax), etc
CATALOGUE NO: 723 3174

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The follow up to last year’s Chamber Music Society, Esperanza Spalding’s new album is a markedly different project. Instead of classical forms, Radio Music Society reflects modern soul music and pop melodies. It’s just as intelligent as its chamber based companion though and, if anything, more ambitious in its scale. As well as composing and directing the music, Spalding has made a short film for each of the 12 tracks, which are linked to form an hour-long feature film. And she directs a huge cast of musicians, with studio cameos from artists such as Joe Lovano and Jack DeJohnette in addition to the 13-piece brass choir and other guests. The result is a plush, super deluxe transport for a song cycle whose clever, heartfelt lyrics hit a soulful sweet spot. Last year Spalding infuriated the fans of certain top pop stars when she won the Best New Artist Grammy: this year she’s going to win them over.

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Garry Booth