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Chamber Music Society

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Editors’ Notes

On her 2008 self-titled release, bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding seemed to be gushing with music but at times the results were scattershot. 2010’s Chamber Music Society is a tighter affair and Spalding’s vocals, at times wordless, have a sharper sense of purpose. The core unit here — Spalding, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, keyboardist Leo Genovese, and percussionist Quintino Cinalli — is joined by a string trio on a number of tracks. (Gil Goldstein collaborated with Spalding on the string arrangements and production.) The opener “Little Fly” effectively sets the words of a Walt Whitman poem to music for voice, bass, and string trio. “Chacarera,” based on the Argentinean rhythm, is full of clattering percussion, zigzagging vocal lines, and fine work from cellist Dave Eggar. Eggar also solos on an intriguing cover of “Wild Is the Wind,” which has nice melodica from Genovese. Special treat: the great Milton Nascimento joins Spalding for a vocal duet on “Apple Blossom.”

Customer Reviews

Great Follow Up! A-W-E-S-O-M-E, Pure Creativity!!! WOW!

I LOVED Esperanza's first album and my feelings towards this one are even greater. I was in awe at first listen, which is rare for me. Buyer beware however, this is not your casual jazz album. Contrary to what's being currently recorded by most mainstream jazz artists (which in my opinion are playing it safe by releasing the same repetitive song choices over and over again), this is a genuine and daring creative effort by a true maestro of the genre in full control of her craft. This album is deeply passionate and to me represents the work of someone who absolutely loves what she is doing. The voices, the arrangements... Everything here is beyond sensational yet borders on the experimental at times, so this may not be for the casual jazz listener hoping to dazzle his guests at cocktail hour. It's more of a sit down and take the time to listen type of album or you won't get all the intricate nuances being painted in its musical sky. That's why I absolutely love it; it forces you to stop and listen to this young lady's incredible voice and musical genius and anything that makes us slow down in this rat race is worth paying attention to!


Born: 1984 in Portland, OR

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Hailed as a prodigy on the acoustic double bass within months of first touching the instrument as a 15-year-old, Esperanza Spalding has emerged as a fine jazz bassist, but has also distinguished herself playing blues, funk, hip-hop, pop fusion, and Brazilian and Afro-Cuban styles as well. Born in Portland, OR in 1984, Spalding was not well served by the public school system and soon dropped out of classes to be home-schooled. Returning to the public school system at 15, she encountered her first...
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Chamber Music Society, Esperanza Spalding
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