When Esperanza first came on the scene, I was wild about her. Finally, a new recording artist that I actually cared about. When "Junjo" came out, I was convinced the gods had finally bestowed a new genius on a country long bereft of musical talent--at least any that could sell records. But her next two releases have me asking if I jumped the gun. "Chamber Music Society" with all the promise that I saw in the title when I found it at a record store was a disappointment when I brought it home. "Radio Music Society" even more so. Having a very fine voice seems to be her undoing. They seem to be trying to turn her into a diva. "Oh, goody, she can sing! Great, now we can market her as a singer instead of a bassist." Why? Obviously because singers sell and bassists generally don't. America is hung up on singers. Enough already. Show me instrumental talent. Esperanza has talent in spades but it seems to be taking a backseat. Her basswork on "Radio Music Society" is not that impressive. Someone with 2 years under a decent instructor could play that stuff. It didn't close to matching her sheer brilliance on her first two releases. Now, she's young and maybe she's experimenting and all that but I DO hope she gets back to bass-ics and starts playing real jazz again. I want to hear more bass and less diva crap. We don't have enough divas already??? I watched the Superbowl and saw Alicia Keyes doing the national anthem. Admittedly, I wouldn't know Alicia Keyes from a rusty bucket of rainwater so I hope she's a better pianist than what I saw. Once again, it seems to be all about voice. She certainly can sing but her piano playing made her look like a complete hack. I can play what she played and I'm not by any stretch a pianist (not really that much of a bassist to be honest). Esperanza seems to be going down that same road now. I certainly hope I'm wrong but I don't have a good feeling about this. The public doesn't know squat about jazz and in order for her to keep selling, she'll have to get away from jazz and that will be a great loss. I realize I'm committing a mortal sin to a lot of members of TB. We're supposed to rave about Esperanza Spalding. Well, I am raving: GET BACK ON THAT BASS AND PLAY JAZZ!