Music Review: Chamber Music Society by Esperanza Spalding

Chamber Music Society by Esperanza SpaldingChamber Music is a form of classical music that is written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber.  The term “chamber” implies privacy and intimacy, therefore, “chamber music” has been described as the “music of friends.”  And by the time you finish listening to this CD you will feel as if you have been accepted into a society of friends.  Which is appropriate, since I was introduced to the music of Esperanza Spalding through the ravings of an old high school friend.

Backed by pianist Leo Genovese and drummer Terri Lynne Carrington, bassist Esperanza Spalding’s vocals blend so seamlessly with the instruments that it’s often hard to tell where they end and she begins.  Also featured on the CD are percussionist Quintino Cinalli, violinist Entcho Todorov, violist Lois Martin, cellist David Eggar and vocalist Gretchen Parlato.   Vocalist Milton Nascimento joins Esperanza on “Apple Blossom,” one of my favorite tracks ~ hauntingly beautiful.  Another one of my favorite songs is “What a Friend” which would provide the perfect background music to an intimate dinner party with friends.

Hailed as an acoustic bass prodigy at the age of 15, Esperanza Spalding debuted in 2008 with Esmerelda, her self~titled CD which spent 70 weeks on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart.  She credits her mother with giving her a love for music but it was a performance by classical cellist Yo Yo Ma on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood that inspired her to pursue a music career.  She was four at the time.  Esperanza went on to play the violin, oboe and clarinet before discovering the bass.  At the age of 16, Spalding left high school, completed her GED and enrolled in the music program at Berklee College of Music.  After graduation, Spalding became one of the youngest professors in the university’s history at the age of 20.  She has also distinguished herself as a blues, funk, hip~hop, pop fusion, Brazillian and Afro~Cuban artist as well.

To listen to a sample of Chamber Music Society click here.  Advanced orders may be purchased for $12.99 by going here.

Rating:  4 out of 5 Stars

Chamber Music Society
Release Date: 17 August 2010
Website: www.eperanzaspalding.com
Facebook:  Esperanza Spalding

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  I was provided with a free copy of the CD for review courtesy of Walter Schmidli and Esperanza Spalding.

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