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Esperanza Spalding
January 10, 2008 8:01 AM   Subscribe

Esperanza Spalding first picked up the bass at fifteen. In the few years since, she has proven herself a master. She is now the youngest faculty member ever at Berklee and a rising star in the jazz scene. She is currently touring with another young and talented jazz gem, Gretchen Parlato.
posted by honeyx (33 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Talented, sexy, beautiful voice, charismatic, bewitching. But I'm wondering who would listen to music like that.
posted by billysumday at 8:11 AM on January 10, 2008


Me, for one. She sounds fantastic.
posted by ardgedee at 8:38 AM on January 10, 2008


She sing so beautifully I could slip into a coma just listening to snippets of her voice and is so sexy her enthusiasm for who and what she is just rings like the loudest bell from the rooftops. If I'm lucky I'll find A girl like this to marry. The music is lovely and effortless and you can hear that for yourself by buying her album which is like 9 bucks on Itunes.

That aside I am the only one who hopes for the return of Jam Bands and real Dance halls.
posted by Rubbstone at 8:48 AM on January 10, 2008


I love the comments in the first YT link about how they can't understand the rhythm, which is pretty obvious (to me) after she starts singing.
posted by emelenjr at 9:01 AM on January 10, 2008


*watches clips*
*resists the urge to put bass down and never pick it up again*
*reminds self that most of self's favourite music is produced by non-prodigies and/or -virtuosos*
*compliments honeyx on post*
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:04 AM on January 10, 2008


Are you going to eat your fat?

Spaulding!
posted by dasheekeejones at 9:07 AM on January 10, 2008


Beautiful.
posted by voltairemodern at 9:16 AM on January 10, 2008


My God. She's amazing in that first video.
posted by gd779 at 9:17 AM on January 10, 2008


I want to marry her.
posted by papakwanz at 9:26 AM on January 10, 2008


But I'm wondering who would listen to music like that.

Count me in too. Thanks for the post, honeyx!
posted by ersatz at 9:37 AM on January 10, 2008


Obligatory link BIRN. wishes I was a bass
posted by hortense at 9:40 AM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Gretchen & I used to go to jams in LA together when she was in LA. Her dad played with Frank Zappa (little trivia fact: he's the originator of the phrase "Don't eat the yellow snow"), so music's in her blood. FYI, I just got an e-mail from her yesterday & she'll be playing in LA this month:

* friday jan 25 -- live radio performance & interview on KPFK global village

* saturday jan 26 -- duo performance with marcel camargo @ creative seeds
posted by miss lynnster at 9:43 AM on January 10, 2008


She looks so happy playing. Yay!
posted by LordSludge at 9:53 AM on January 10, 2008


That was amazing. She's got a feather-light touch on the bass. That sort of playing is rare on such a physical instrument, too.

Damn, she's talented.
posted by invitapriore at 10:01 AM on January 10, 2008


Cool; thanks.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:06 AM on January 10, 2008


Gorgeous.
posted by bassjump at 10:07 AM on January 10, 2008


Twenty one year old bass player Tal Wilkenfeld played with Jeff Beck at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival in 2007. Shes only been playing about four years but is being heralded as "the future of bass."
posted by Sailormom at 10:15 AM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


But I'm wondering who would listen to music like that.

Other than the millions of jazz fans in the world, probably not too many would.
posted by pracowity at 11:08 AM on January 10, 2008


Amazing, thanks honeyx.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:21 AM on January 10, 2008


Very nice stuff.

*puts down bass, walks away, shaking head...*
posted by gnutron at 12:19 PM on January 10, 2008


I remember when the noise for pretend CD came out, man that's a good cd.
posted by Large Marge at 12:19 PM on January 10, 2008


You didn't say she could sing, too!
posted by not_on_display at 1:17 PM on January 10, 2008


I was thinking she was pretty good on the bass... then when she started singing, wow!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:37 PM on January 10, 2008


Holy wow, this is a great post. Thank you!
posted by chihiro at 4:45 PM on January 10, 2008


Yay, girl jazz instrumentalists! That's pretty rare, isn't is Miss Lynster?
posted by footnote at 6:54 PM on January 10, 2008


Really great!
posted by Wolof at 7:59 PM on January 10, 2008


Well, jazz is still a serious boys club still so yeah, it is rare. Most of my female instrumentalist friends are horn players. I only know three female bassists. And one of them started out as a guy.

You have to have thick skin & talent to really stand out and move forward (especially as a singer because there's a definite "singers aren't musicians" vibe thrown around). If you have both of those, then you'll earn respect... but it can take time and experience. The thing that both of these girls have that many people don't (including myself) is that they started at very, very young ages and they can't imagine a life that wasn't about making music. It's like breathing air. That kind of comfort takes away 90% of the fear and insecurity that will hold people back.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:27 PM on January 10, 2008


Wow.. this blows me away, but I can't say I'm surprised. The only surprising thing is that I haven't heard anything about her since the week spent at a jazz workshop with the Mel Brown quintet (who still play great weekly sets at Jimmy Mak's in Portland, very much worth checking out) where Esperanza and I were both students. This was about 7 years ago, but it was pretty clear at that point that she was hugely talented. The now infamous Andre St. James was more or less taking her on as an understudy, and aside from her musical talent she had a confidence about her that no one could argue with. Go Esperanza!
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 11:48 PM on January 10, 2008


You have to have thick skin & talent to really stand out and move forward (especially as a singer because there's a definite "singers aren't musicians" vibe thrown around).

Interesting, especially since singers are the most likely to be women, right? And aren't the singers usually the ones who get the gigs and dole out the checks to the instrumentalists?
posted by footnote at 5:06 AM on January 11, 2008


And aren't the singers usually the ones who get the gigs and dole out the checks to the instrumentalists?

I wouldn't say *that*, really, but singers generally are the focus of the performance and account for most of a band's unique sound. And I say that as a hyperactive bass guitarist. (So it pisses me off a little bit -- why should he/she get all the attention when I'm workin my ass off over here??)
posted by LordSludge at 8:03 AM on January 11, 2008


why should he/she get all the attention when I'm workin my ass off over here??

Because she's the singer, dude. Mine is four years old, and she whips my bassplaying arse into line in about one second. When your instrument can vocalise like that you can bend suckers to your will too.

Also, you have to work on the bass? Mine just about plays itself. My bit is to stay out of the way and let the music through.
posted by Wolof at 6:12 PM on January 12, 2008


Yeah, we play differently, I'm sure. Rock on.
posted by LordSludge at 1:40 AM on January 13, 2008


You too!
posted by Wolof at 2:03 AM on January 13, 2008


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