Song of the Moment

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Monday, February 14, 2011

Esperanza Spalding - Esperanza

I'm happy to report a couple of my Grammy predictions came true. A couple that I didn't even pick surprised me - one of them being Best New Artist to Esperanza Spalding. Now - I didn't give my analysis on this category because it had two words in it, Justin and Bieber. I figured he'd walk away with a ton of awards. But thankfully, the academy selected someone else...anyone else. I thought about how happy I was, and then how I have no clue who this lady is. Enter Monday morning, and my desire to see what I've been missing. She talked about how she's from Portland in her acceptance speech - but I didn't know that she grew up in a very tough neighborhood that Spalding herself refers to as a "ghetto" and "pretty scary". She has a very diverse background - with influences from African, Welsh, Native American and Brazilian cultures. She started playing instruments at five years old - and never stopped learning new ones to this day. She discovered the bass around 14 years old when she was slated to look into the cello. She dropped out of high school and got her GED to attend Portland State University at 16. She is a very interesting lady. She wants to continue this 'jazz fusion' trend that has been all the rage over the past decade or so. This album really shows off the diversity - as I'm picking up three languages. Some songs are English - where others are both in Spanish or Portuguese. It's hard not to at the very least get through this, let alone like it. It's pretty upbeat, and you feel drawn to it. Big time recommendation from me today. If you're like me and never heard this before, I think you'll be impressed.

1. Ponta de Areia
2. I Know You Know
3. Fall In
4. I Adore You
5. Cuerpo y Alma
6. She Got to You
7. Precious
8. Mela
9. Love in Time
10. Espera
11. If That's True
12. Samba Em Preludio

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Ponta De Areia
2. Mela
3. I Adore You

3.75 out of 5 stars

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