ESPERANZA SPALDING ’12 Little Spells’ – CD


Available on backorder


Grammy-winning bassist/vocalist/composer Esperanza Spalding, a former child prodigy steeped in classical and jazz but bounded by neither, is well over a decade into one of the most fruitful and strikingly original careers in contemporary pop. As with Spalding’s earlier albums, the conceptual hook of her new LP 12 Little Spells (12 songs, each dedicated to a different body part) only hints at the radically inventive nature of the songs themselves. The album favors a slightly dreamier aesthetic, but there’s still music here that will make your head spin with its exquisite inter-genre oddity.

Musically, there is nothing constrained about her performance as a vocalist or a bassist. It’s extremely organic, as though each song is unfolding right before you, rather than after laboring in a recording studio. This is not dinner jazz, but no one who picks up an Esperanza Spalding album expects it to be. Her voice and her bass are a listener’s guide on a tour with no map and no destination, but where wonders abound.