Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Jeff Winbush
When you've been invited to perform for the President of the United States, turned heads as the bass-playing beauty in the Academy Awards house band, toured with Prince and beat out teen dream Justin Bieber for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, you're having a very good run in the spotlight - and it could turn your head.
From time-to-time an artist gets dubbed as the new saviour of jazz. Usually this title is handed out by publications with only a cursory interest in jazz. It's possible Spalding neither sought nor seeks the responsibility, but with success comes expectation and the expectation is that Radio Music Society, Spalding's fourth album and her first since her Grammy upset, will be popular in a way few jazz albums have, at least since guitarist George Benson and saxophonist Kenny G were at their commercial peaks.
The problem with Radio Music Society is it's only okay as jazz and is tentative as pop music. Spalding is a musician, songwriter, lyricist, arranger and producer and while she does all of this adequately, she does none of it spectacularly. ... read more...
Entertainment Weekly (p.73) - "[T]he singer-bassist sounds eager for a pop crossover -- check out her funk take on Michael Jackson's 'I Can't Help It,' and 'City of Roses,' a soulful pair-up with Q-Tip."
Uncut (magazine) (p.84) - "[I]ts melodious artiness is engaging and 'Land Of The Free' offers a touch of silky dissidence."
Audio Mixer: Joe Ferla.
Recording information: Atlantic Sound Studios, Brooklyn, NY; Avatar Recording Studios, New York, NY; Kung Fu Bakery, Portland, OR; MSR Studios, New York, NY; Raydar Studios, New York, NY; Water Music, Hoboken, NJ.
Director: Pilar Sanz.
Editors: Pau Carrasco; Juanjo Ortiz; Joan Manel Vilaseca; Elodie Leuthold.
Illustrators: Roland Lefox Nicol; Jeff De Blois.
Photographers: John Abbott ; David Bartolomi; Dion Ogust; Sandrine Lee; Christopher Drukker; Jimmy Katz; Ben Wolf; Matthew Murphy ; Carlos Pericás; Jesus Chuda Hidalgo; Damian Conrad; Chanel Kennebrew; Bransy Kayzakian Rowe; Bailey Davidson.
Esperanza Spalding's Chamber Music Society reached the number one spot on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Chart and netted her a Best New Artist Grammy. Radio Music Society is a companion piece to its predecessor. In addition to her regular band featuring pianist Leo Genovese and drummer Terry Lynne Carrington, she enlisted a large group of collaborators including -- but not limited to -- Joe Lovano, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Hart, Gretchen Parlato, Lionel Loueke, Leni Stern, Lalah Hathaway, and Q-Tip. Ms. Spalding's own compositions are accompanied by two covers: Stevie Wonder's "I Can't Help It" and Wayne Shorter's "Endangered Species (to which she contributed original lyrics).
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