Performances on October 26 and October 27, 2012. It has not taken Esperanza Spalding long to emerge as one of the brightest lights in the musical world. Listeners familiar with her stunning 2008 Heads Up International debut, Esperanza, and her best-selling 2010 release Chamber Music Society, were well aware that the young bassist, vocalist and composer from Portland, Oregon was the real deal, with a unique and style-spanning presence, deeply rooted in jazz yet destined to make her mark far beyond the jazz realm. That judgment was confirmed on February 13, 2011, when Spalding became the first jazz musician to receive the GRAMMY® Award for Best New Artist. On March 20, 2012, Heads Up International gave us Spalding's latest release, Radio Music Society, her most diverse, ambitious and masterful recital yet. Each of the 12 songs are accompanied by conceptual music videos, which further express Esperanza’s inspiration and story behind each track.
Radio Music Society is a companion, rather than a sequel, to Spalding’s previous disc, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. “Originally I thought it would be fun to release a double album,” she explains, “One disc with an intimate, subtle exploration of chamber works and a second one in which jazz musicians explore song forms and melodies that are formatted more along the lines of what we would categorize as “pop songs.” Those are the two things that really interest me, and it intrigues me to think about different presentation approaches while writing each kind of song. On the pop song side, I think about listeners who aren’t into jazz, but I also think about the people within my musical community who can interpret each idea best."
Among its many strengths, Radio Music Society is a celebration of the men and women who have helped cultivate Spalding’s talent, as well as those who have nurtured her vision and inspired her along the way. “I’ve had the honor and blessing of working with so many phenomenal jazz musicians over the years,” she says. “As I’ve gotten to know them and their music, I’ve grown to love them as family and colleagues. I wished for an opportunity for us all to interpret songs together, so that they can be heard and received by a larger audience. All my personal heroes who are revered in the jazz world – like Joe Lovano and Terri Lyne Carrington – should be heard by a mainstream audience, because what they manifest in their music is so beautiful, sincere and uplifting. I think they literally bring good into the lives of the people who hear them. So I’ve tried to put together a program of music that speaks to the non-jazz listener, but can still provide a viable foundation for my jazz heroes to express themselves. Hopefully, people can enjoy all the elements of my music without being told which genres it is ‘supposedly’ a blend of. Everyone is invited to listen with no pre-conceived notions. It’s a journey. Think and feel for yourself. But, most importantly, ENJOY!”
“Art doesn’t thrive with too much analyzing and explaining,” Esperanza Spalding notes, “The idea of ‘radio music’ is very broad.” Radio Music Society is destined to expand the concept even further, not to mention the horizons of the music world’s most exceptional young artist.
Visit her official site here for more information.