Esperanza Spalding: Ponta de Areia


Ponta de Areia


Esperanza Spalding (vocals, bass)


Esperanza (Heads Up 3140)

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Esperanza Spalding (vocals, bass),

Lee Genovese (piano), Gretchen Parlato (background vocals), Jamey Haddad (percussion), Otis Brown (drums)


Composed by Milton Nascimento and Fernando Rocha Brant


Recorded: Acton, Massachusetts and Jonesborough, Tennessee; no dates give (CD released in 2008)


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

Music, like boxing, is more about interesting combinations than sheer brute force. Esperanza Spalding has a number of surprising combinations up her sleeves. First, her doubling on acoustic bass and vocals is an unusual mixture in the jazz world. Her songs also reflect an interesting combination of world music and jazz traditions. And even within the jazz sphere, she draws on both mainstream and crossover styles. Here she tackles a number that Milton Nascimento recorded on a memorable date with Wayne Shorter more than thirty years ago. These are big shoes to fill, but Spalding pulls it off with grace. She has a beguiling singing style, more pop than jazz, but with enough substance to satisfy the more reasonable members of the jazz "authenticity" police. A gracious release by a promising talent.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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