Esperanza Spalding is pulling her audience close and focusing on one aspect of her multi-faceted sound in Chamber Music Society.
The last time we saw Esperanza, she was paying tribute to The Purple One on Sunday at the BET Awards. She was one of the acts highlighted in a medley of Prince’s music before he was presented with the BET Lifetime Achievement Award.
The jazz vocalist-bassist introduced herself to the American audiences last year with a self-titled album that was really a musical mélange. Esperanza pulls her inspiration from several different styles, using English and Spanish lyrics, and throws it all together on an album. However, Chamber Music Society is a little more focused in its sound.
“It’s less of a mish mash,” Esperanza said while explaining how her upcoming album is different from Esperanza. “This is honing in on a specific area of my musical identity, which comes more from a classical background and more from the intimate playing setting of a piano trio.”
From the first strains of “Little Fly” to the closing note of “Short and Sweet,” Chamber Music Society, which hits stores August 17, really captures the vibe of jazz club on open-mic night.
While this release will come out so soon after her last project, Esperanza told us that the album really grew organically.
“It was a long, far-reaching process,” Esperanza told S2S, adding that some of the material had been sitting on the shelf for years.
Although many of the tracks are new, they supplement the older songs, which didn’t have a place in her previous projects. But in Chamber Music Society she retooled the music so that it all seamlessly fits together. “I had this concept first, and I realized I had this body of music that was really lending itself to this idea, so then it was a matter of refining.”
– Sonya Eskridge