Thursday, July 15, 2010

Brains, beauty ... and a bass

If you've not listened to Esperanza Spalding, you're missing out on a rare treat.
Spalding is a 25-year-old dynamo, maybe the best thing to happen to jazz in a decade or two because she has the star quality missing from so many young players. Eldar and Julian Lage are exciting players, but Spalding is not only a capable player -- she's also a singer capable of making a song her own.

Check out this video of her performing Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed":

We can thank Pat Metheny for this treat: the story goes Esperanza was ready to quit Berklee after spending two semesters lugging her bass around, and switch to a political science major. But Metheny told her not to, pointing out she has the undefinable quality that can make an artist rise above others.

Need more proof? Here she is Jimmy Kimmel's show:

How can jazz be dying when it draws someone so full of life?

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