Get ready for an exceptionally sensual listening experience when plugging into Esperanza Spalding’s latest release simply titled Esperanza on the Heads Up International Record Label. This album by most standards of measurement is one of the best examples of vocal styled jazz around today. Emotionally speaking, ‘Esperanza’ reaches out to that still small voice inside that says groove me, mesmerize me and titillate my musical fantasy.
From the very onset of the Esperanza listening experience, Ms. Spalding runs the gamut of varying musical interludes. Tracks such as "Fall In" and "Ponta De Areia" highlight a definitive jazz mood that is often influenced by inferences of Portuguese induced melodies. Although the recording is best described as an enhanced example of straight ahead jazz, ‘Esperanza’ has many elements of contemporary, Caribbean, Spanish and Latin jazz dynamics, all of which come together under one umbrella of romantic stylized moods. But make no mistake about ‘Esperanza,’ there is something inherently infectious that is passionately consuming. Of the eleven tracks Esperanza has recorded, each has an element of quintessential originality attached, which brings a perspective unlike any other CD to date.
With a voice that has a uniquely personal appeal attached, Esperanza adds something even more to the release to double the pleasure. Not only does Ms. Spalding sing on the album, she also includes the acoustic bass in her arsenal of jazz. As an upfront jazz instrument, the acoustic bass is seldom highlighted as a lead instrument; however, it is an integral component in many classical and jazz compositions. Some would say that the bass adds depth to a composer’s presentation. Either way the elements of song combined with the inclusion of Ms. Spalding’s instrumental prowess has made Esperanza a very exciting piece of work. This CD is an escape from the mundane and will push the envelope of any jazz palate.