Album: Esperanza Spalding, Esperanza (Heads Up)
Sunday 25 May 2008
Looks like Angela Davis, plays double bass like Charles Mingus, and sings like, well, anyone really. The second album by the US bass-fiddle prodigy is frustrating.
You know that Spalding is good, but instead of testing her mettle, this ingratiating set has her singing in a generic, soully style for 10 of the 11 tracks. (Her voice is great for a bass player, but nothing to worry Ella Fitzgerald's estate.) Some of the material – Nascimento's "Ponta de Areia", "Body & Soul" – is good, and the Latin-jazz style effective, but we need more chance for her chops to shine through.
Pick of the Album: 'If That's True': with Donald Harrison on sax
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