Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

524

Esperanza Spalding: Junjo

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Esperanza Spalding's debut drives jazz's modern mainstream with a hip-sounding classic piano trio. Her emotional, wordless vocals and conversational bass playing offer a delightful celebration of music as folk art. Spalding's bass playing gets noticed while she interprets traditional jazz favorites as well as fresh new originals.

Spalding, who was born in 1984, is younger than most jazz all-stars. And yet the fierce power of her trio proves that these musicians have all paid their dues many times over. The leader, a Portland, Oregon native, graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and now teaches there. Like many of us, she was turned on to jazz by Kind of Blue.

Her pianist and drummer on this date, Aruán Ortiz and Francisco Mela, are from Cuba. She's chosen two of the best for her opening salvo in the competitive world of music. Of her chances, she says, "If your music is meant to be out there, and you stick to it and put everything you have into that, rather than making sure that someone is taking a nice picture of you, it will work. I think she's on her way to certain success. You can't argue with good taste.

Unlike vocalese, Spalding uses a soft, wordless pattern that allows one vowel sound to flow into the next. It's not unlike the Portuguese sounds that often drive a bossa nova. She does sing one song with lyrics on Junjo, however, only to emphasize this point even stronger. "Cantora de Yala, sung in Spanish with nothing more than bass accompaniment, flows naturally with a poignant charm.

The trio's interpretation of Chick Corea's Humpty Dumpty offers the best look at Spalding's bass playing. She likes to move with a comfortable rhythmic drive that never fades. Her concept remains lyrical from start to finish; she creates a focus for her energy and ensures that it follows a path toward beauty. Fresh voices such as this one on the modern jazz scene prove that good taste will always win over greedy ambition.


Track Listing: The Peacocks; Loro; Humpty Dumpty; Mompouana; Perazuan; Junjo; Cantora de Yala; Two Bad; Perazela.

Personnel: Esperanza Spalding: bass, voice; Francisco Mela: drums; Aruan Ortiz: piano.

Title: Junjo | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Ayva Musica

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Profiles
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Emily’s D+Evolution

Emily’s D+Evolution

Concord Music Group
2016

buy
Radio Music Society

Radio Music Society

Heads Up International
2012

buy
Black Gold

Black Gold

Heads Up International
2012

buy
 

Jazz Ain't Nothin But...

Heads Up International
2012

buy
Junjo

Junjo

Heads Up International
2011

buy
Chamber Music Society

Chamber Music Society

Heads Up International
2010

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Apr28Sun
Esperanza Spalding
Boulder Theater
Boulder, CO
May1Wed
Leo Genovese, Jack DeJohnette, Esperanza Spalding, Joe...
City Winery - Chicago
Chicago, IL

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Duologue Album Reviews
Duologue
By Dan Bilawsky
January 17, 2019
Read Showing Up Album Reviews
Showing Up
By Nicholas F. Mondello
January 17, 2019
Read Chez Hélène Album Reviews
Chez Hélène
By Glenn Astarita
January 17, 2019
Read Original Demos Album Reviews
Original Demos
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 17, 2019
Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard Album Reviews
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
By Mark Sullivan
January 16, 2019
Read SJZ Collective Reimagines Monk Album Reviews
SJZ Collective Reimagines Monk
By Doug Collette
January 16, 2019
Read Swingin' In Seattle, Live At The Penthouse 1966-1967 Album Reviews
Swingin' In Seattle, Live At The Penthouse 1966-1967
By Mike Jurkovic
January 16, 2019

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/chunks/overlay/aaj-sitemap.php on line 5