With a ‘Best New Artist’ Grammy and the immensely critically and commercially successful (by jazz standards) ‘Chamber Music Society’ recording behind her, Esperanza Spalding faced the daunting task of producing a follow up. When I heard last year that the title would be ‘Radio Music Society’, I knew that she was shifting her focus from the ‘chamber jazz’ feel of much of her last outing to something more funky and pop-oriented. Of course, that direction can be a dangerous path – you can succeed, but you can just as easily alienate existing fans without making new ones.
Fortunately, based on listening to the streaming album on NPR there are no concerns. The album is eclectic, but extremely well done. This is no surprise – Spalding is a vibrant young bassist and singer who covers wide swaths of musical territory at will and switches genres without a thought!
Here is a snip from the accompanying article:
- The new Esperanza Spalding album is widely anticipated.
- The new Esperanza Spalding album is a pop record. Well, “pop record” in scare quotes.
- The new Esperanza Spalding album is all over the place. That’s neither pejorative nor praise; it simply is.
Radio Music Society is thus big budget, and big ambition, and big on expectation. But Spalding doesn’t seem fazed by the prospect, and if she is, she simply reverts to what she does best.
After listening to the recording I headed to Amazon to drop it on my Wish List so I’d remember to buy – and you can pre-order the Deluxe Edition CD/DVD, or add the MP3 album to your Wish List! Either way it is very much worth checking out!