Thursday, March 24, 2016

Esperanza Spalding's Emily D+ Evolution

Every once in awhile, I get an album that I play incessantly and never seem to tire of. In 2016, this is going to be Esperanza Spalding's Emily D+ Evolution. I bought my copy from Target, because their edition has an extra, exclusive track.

I have posted a live performance of Spalding's Emily D+ Evolution NPR's Music Front Row program on YouTube.

As one of the commenters said, "when she plays the first bass note, it's like 'wow!'" Esperanza Spalding gives an amazing performance, with powerful vocals and flashy fretless bass guitar playing, a well as playing bass pedals and keyboards. This is excellent jazz-rock-funk in a performance-art setting. She is very expressive with her eyes and face as she performs all the songs.

I am still amazed, after following Spalding the last six years, seeing her perform live and on video clips, at her proficiency at singing at her level and playing complicated bass at the same time. A recent review suggested Esperanza is liking having Joni Mitchell and Jaco Pastorius rolled into one. I would add maybe a little bit of Geddy Lee, too.

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