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Esperanza Spalding - 12 Little Spells
#1
Hi!

I really appreciated the more musically technical write up on this one. Not being a musician myself, as such, it gave me something more to listen out for.

I am a little hesitant to post this. I suppose I feel a little bad about it in some ways. You see your review has reminded me both of this artist - and also of something that bothers me a bit for some reason.

I have both Chamber Music Society and Radio Music Society - on CD no less - talk about Lossless audio! I recall picking up on some of the hype that was going on - must be getting on for 10 years or so ago now. I've not followed up on any of her later stuff so it was interesting, and also maybe a bit of a surprise, to see the review here.

This track kind of leaves me feeling the same way I recall feeling about those albums (I find I don't revisit them that often, might be time for another listen). Talented for sure, no doubt about that. Four Grammys is it? Still, I am not sure quite what it is, but as with the two albums I mentioned, I find myself not quite 'buying it' as such for some reason. I suppose I feel kind of similar regarding, say, Kurt Elling, too, by way of example.

With this track I am not sure that the somewhat Disney-esque cinematic intro and orchestration helps matters. I did start to wonder if it was going to go into a disco track after the first bar (I am a fan of disco!). Is it because I feel it is trying a bit too hard to be accessible, over being Jazz, if that makes sense? Is it somehow not quite as, I dunno, authentic (for want of a better word) to me as it might be perhaps? Or is it something else?

I really don't know. I mean for example I dig Giant Steps, Sonny Rollins, Paul Chambers - Bass On Top. Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch is genius (for me the title track is so visual!). On the slightly more accessible somewhat more pop side of things, the superb Helen Watson, Blue Slipper springs to mind for some reason.

I really feel I should be into this more than I find I am. Is it because I think it is trying too hard to be two things at once? Perhaps I am just not much of a 'sung poetry' fan? Do I just need to give it more time?

It's probably something simple, like it's just not to my taste perhaps?

I'd be interested to hear if there are some other opinions on this.

Cheers!
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