Radio Music Society by Esperanza Spalding
Album Number three from Letterman’s favourite (ever) musical guest, performer of choice at multiple Obama functions and nominee for a Best Album Grammy (almost unheard of for a jazzer) continues with Spalding’s systematic dismantling of genre. Esperanza eases, nay hurls pop, funk and hip-hop into her jazz-soul stew.
She proves as adept on electric bass as acoustic and that voice is just amazing: phrasing straight out of the golden years of jazz singers astride percolating, infectious grooves that ease into spacy, majestic modal pieces like the wonderful ‘Vague Suspicions’. Guests include Joe Lovano, Jack DeJohnette and American Music Program, an 11-piece horn section. A worthy throwback to the heyday of the accessible yet ambitious jazz-pop hybrids of the Herbie/Stevie/Joni era. Hear this now.
Richard Mohr is a friend of Readings