If “esperanza” is the Spanish word for hope, then bassist, vocalist and composer Esperanza Spalding could not have been given a more fitting name at birth. Blessed with uncanny instrumental chops, a multi-lingual voice that is part angel and part siren, and a natural beauty that borders on the hypnotic, the 23-year-old prodigy-turned-pro might well be the hope for the future of jazz and instrumental music.
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Those following jazz ought to keep an ear on the bassist
ESPERANZA SPALDING, who is going about things her own
way. She's got good tone and conservatory training, but so
does everyone else these days. More important, she already
sounds distinct. Essentially she's a singer, using both her
instrument and her voice to similar ends. Her musicality is all
integrated: The Esperanza Spalding experience is light,
melodic, joyful, always sort of minimalist and airborne.
- Ben Ratliff, The New York Times