A Kinetic Spalding


Thanks to SFJAZZ, I recently caught a live performance by Esperanza Spalding. She brought a different ensemble than on Chamber Music Society, the Grammy-winning artist's second Heads Up album. The concert was a revelation.

The very kinetic Spalding is as visually arresting a performer as she is musically gifted. It was impossible to take my eyes off her. Her scatting, and the instrumentation surrounding her also had the irreplaceable, in-the-moment improvisational feel of live performance. She held the entire audience's attention during the generous, intermission-less concert.

For her ensemble, the excellent Leo Genovese (piano and Melodica) and Terri Lynne Carrington (drums) remained from the Chamber Music Society lineup, but the wonderful Leala Cyr was the new back-up vocalist; the string trio of Sara Caswell (violin), Lois Martin (viola), and Jody Redhage (cello) had two new players; and others on the recording sat this one out.