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Chamber Music Society [LP]

78 customer reviews

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Chamber Music Society
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Vinyl, February 22, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

As one of the few jazz artists to be nominated in the Best New Artist category at the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards, Esperanza Spalding follows up the success of her sophomore Heads Up release, Chamber Music Society, with a vinyl LP limited edition. A showcase for the charismatic bassist, vocalist and composer's songwriting talents, it includes a mix of originals and covers and features pianist Leo Genovese and drummer Tern Lyne Carrington, with a multitude of string arrangements by Gil Goldstein and Spalding. Special guests also include singer Gretchen Parlato and Brazilian legend Milton Nascimento. In addition to the refined repertoire of jazz, string trio, and voice on the original Chamber Music Society CD release, the vinyl LP edition includes exclusive bonus content: audio commentary by Esperanza and song snippets from the Chamber Music Society recording sessions, as well as a sneak peek bonus track from her upcoming 2012 release, Radio Music Society.

Disc: 1
1. Little Fly
2. Knowledge Of Good And Evil
3. Really Very Small
Disc: 2
1. Chacarera
2. Wild Is The Wind
3. Apple Blossom
4. As A Sprout
Disc: 3
1. What A Friend
2. Winter Sun
3. Inutil Paisagem
4. Short And Sweet
Disc: 4
1. Chamber Music Society: Behind The Scenes
2. Morning

Product Details

  • Vinyl (February 22, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Heads Up
  • ASIN: B003TOS8K8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,388 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Rick Cornell VINE VOICE on September 25, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Esperanza Spaulding shot off like a rocket with her eponymous debut album in 2008. Yet, for as impressive a young jazz artist as she is, the program there seemed a bit unfocussed. Where was she going to take her unique and most promising talent?

I surmised from the first album that she would probably end up in a "post bop-fusion" mode, exploring and taking off from the early '70's works of such artists as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul and Miles Davis. The live concert of Ms. Spaulding on PBS' "Austin City Limits" seemed to confirm this direction.

But like Miles Davis, Esperanza Spaulding is much too creative and headstrong a musician ever to be pigeonholed; rather, she appears to be one to lead rather than to follow. And this perception is confirmed by this stunning second c.d.

I have listened to it over and over, and not only am I not tired of it, I find myself picking up something new with each listen. Immediately, I'm captivated by the charming duet with another young vocal lioness, Gretchen Parlato, on track 10, Jobim's "Intuil Paisagem." (Incidentally, one of the few non-originals. Really, the only standard is "Wild Is the Wind," track 5, but even it doesn't sound like what you may be used to at all). Likewise, the duet with the immortal Milton Nasciemento, "Apple Blossom," track 6, is captivating.

But the ouerve of this disc is chamber music, really, and the recording belongs more than anything to the combo of Ms. Spaulding's bass, David Eggar's cello, Entho Todorov's violin and Lois Martin's viola. Jazz and string quartets? It absolutely works here. Kudos to executive producer, Gil Goldstein, one of the best in the business, as well of course to co-producer Esperanza.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Divine on September 8, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I love all of Esperanza's CDs and what I loved about some of the songs on the previous works were some were so simple and whisical and just wonderful.
What I love about Chamber Music Society is that is anything but simple. Every airspace has music and sound (if that makes sense). Its beautiful and rich and interesting and it envelopes you. The Chamber Music idea was so original! HOW do you add jazz elements to something as boring as chamber music and make it something I cant stop listening to!?!?
Its soooo UNIQUE and INNOVATIVE! And I see her growth in this CD. Its amazing to me.
Because I was introduced to her 3 years ago, I now listen to Jazz music new and old. And work like this is what makes Jazz the best music genre to me. I hope the world takes notice! BRAVO!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Roman G. Irvin on September 1, 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is a great album.
As much as I enjoyed "Esperanza"--her second album--I must say that "Chamber Music Society" is a definitive leap forward. Her voice texture is richer, her compositions/arrangements are beyond impressive, and her musicianship is inspiring. Two thumbs up!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ex Lib on May 28, 2011
Format: Audio CD
If you like Esperanza Spalding, you'll probably like her latest effort, "Chamber Music Society." In many ways, it builds on the style she's cultivated since her release of "Junjo." While Ms. Spalding is certainly an accomplished musician and excellent singer, I'm not sure she's established a firm sense of who she is as a musician yet. Since "Junjo," and now with "Chamber Music Society," her approach seems to be modal but not quite in the traditional hard bop sense of say a Wayne Shorter or Andrew Hill. I may be missing something but most of the songs here aren't what one could call "blues based" but seem an exercise in chromatic modulation up and down the fingerboard. As a result, there's plenty of "esoteric" harmonies but there's an absence of soul that's present in Shorter, Hill, or Hutcherson. At times, she reminds me of Flora Purim, only without Corea's Fender Rhodes. And that's okay -- she doesn't have to sound like anyone else but herself; I just wonder if the reason why the songs on her albums seem interchangeable is because she hasn't figured out how to break out of the approach to writing and playing that has defined her so far. While I liked "Junjo," "Chamber Music Society" left me a bit disappointed. In fact, insofar as the Grammys are ever "fair," Wynton Marsalis should have taken the award for "Vitoria Suite" before this album. But, perhaps a renewed interest and larger audience for jazz can be affected by Ms. Spalding's popularity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andre S. Grindle TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 22, 2012
Format: Audio CD
As is often the case,the hype surrounding Esperanza's first album Esperanza seemed to be as thick as reinforced concrete. And it led me to believe her talents were more in self promotion than in the expression of talent. I suppose it's generational. That situation I just presented has been a case between myself and music many times before. Particularly when it comes to female talent. In Esperanza's case there is the possibility that I read the hype wrongly on all ends. I actually discovered this album,which I also avoided at first,discarded at a local Goodwill. Since she had a third record coming out that was actually peaking my interest,I thought I'd give this album a try first to see what my thoughts were on this talent. The title of this regard chamber music,apparently a communal style of acoustic playing without horns or enormous orchestration,did seem like an economically feasible concept. After all it's easy to become a little jaundiced on this in an economic climate when even creative artists seems to be doing everything on the cheap. No matter the case,the word cheap simply doesn't apply to anything here.

Showcasing Esperanza in a setting including only a pianist,drummer and percussionist along with her upright bass and singing this album has a sound that's hard to describe. No this music is not made in a complicated fashion. But the harmonic interplay between the instrumentation on songs such as "Little Fly","Knowledge Of Good And Evil","Really Very Small" and "Wild Is The Wind" is....well honestly very extraordinary. I cannot say I've heard melodies and chords that flow together in quite this manner before in my years of music listening.
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