1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

E. Spalding overrated?

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Dimmik, Feb 8, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Dimmik


    Apr 16, 2012
    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!
  2. preside


    Aug 7, 2010
    Scottsdale Az
    uh yea...I kind of have to agree. It's almost like being young, attractive and blessed with a nice voice will be her jazz chops un-doing.
  3. Dimmik


    Apr 16, 2012
    The thing is, the youth market is so fleeting for both musicians and listeners. Jazz is forever music. You're never too old to play jazz. You have only a little window in the youth market before you get shown the door by being too old for it. Don't desert jazz for the youth market and then come crawling back to jazz again when your time there runs out. Have a little loyalty to those of us who made you what you are.
  4. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Can't speak for Chamber Music Society, but from what I remember the explicit idea in Radio Music Society was to put a CD out that would have more popular appeal and not just be for jazz aficionados. I think it's a great disk. But it's not the project where she's going to be pushing the envelope on chops.
  5. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    WI, USA
    Exactly - it's not a jazz cd. You've got to take it on its own merits. Having said that, I sympathize with the OP's concerns. I encourage her to experiment, but I hope she won't stray too far from traditional jazz either.
  6. Jeez. How does that Hateraid taste, guys? Come on over and show me how you scat and solo at the same time.

    My wife and I saw her at the Apollo Theater last fall. The sound sucked, but she was great.
  7. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Try not to confuse talent with corporate obligations, what she records and releases may not what she wants, but the music industry does not always cater for the artists talent...it caters for what sells....whether the artist agrees with it or not.:crying:
  8. Well, duh.
  9. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    "Hateraide"? Really.....so you accused the OP of HATE because he voices his OWN opnion?

    How ridiculously juvnile have people become these days?

    Heads up Bo peep, not everyone is one of your sheep!
  10. H-a-t-e-r-a-i-d. Noun, refers to people who talk trash without ever having accomplished very much themselves. See: everyone Paul Warburton and Ed Fuqua ever slapped down.

    I don't know Esperanza Spalding personally, and I'll probably never meet her. I really have no dog in this fight. But it bugs me when people cry and moan about how an artist they admired when they were obscure gains a wider audience, became successful, and became a target for slander by people who ain't doing ****, just talk on the Internet about doing ****. I came out of punk rock, it's an epidemic and has been for decades.

    The woman is talented, and she deserves to eat and have a place to live, no matter how random sockpuppets on the Internet feel about her new album. Human dignity, etc.

    So tell me, why is the OP's opinion holy and my response to his opinion "ridiculously juvenile?"
  11. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Because the OP said she was incredibly talented, and his post was directly pointng to his not liking the past 2 CD's as much as the first.

    I would suggest you read your attack on the OP again. If you cannot detect the horribly juvenile aspect of twisting the OP's commentary on 2 CD's into your oggle worship of Esperanza, along with your inability to accept that someone may have a different opinion. Then you equating his displeasure with the CD's to hate should cap it. Maybe in the greater ethos of digesting the written word, you will read the context of the commentary, and discern that the OP was critiquing 2 CD's and not displaying any hatred, just voicing an opinion as a comparative to junjo. Get it!
  12. Dimmik


    Apr 16, 2012
    You seem to be taking umbrage at what I wrote while expressing the exact same opinion--she is being turned into a pop diva. Her music is being dumbed down and simplified for an audience that does not care about jazz and does not understand it nor wants to.

    Whether it is what she wants is really beside the point. Just by her doing it, I feel a bit betrayed. I've bought every CD but now I feel I am being sold fluff. She has to come back to the jazz fold that gave her career birth in the first place or I can no longer consider myself a fan.

    By doing what she's doing, she is telling me, "I don't want you for a fan. I want them." Well...that's what she's going to get. I'm trying to be supportive of her, I wanted to be there for that big breakout release when she takes jazz to the next level but it's starting to look like that isn't going to happen. She was doing that with her first two releases and then just stopped dead. And I am disappointed.
  13. Worship? Yeah, ok. Like I said, the OP loved what he heard at first, and then came to blame what they saw as record executive influence for the OP's displeasure with subsequent listenings, meandered through indictments of other artists which are somehow Ms. Spalding's fault, and ended on an ugly note. It's a BS, faux-purist juvenile argument.

    Maybe you should read what I said, which is that I saw her play in person, and mostly enjoyed myself. Then I challenged the OP to play better than she does. Fair enough, right?

    It's a bogus argument. Just like your refusal to engage the points I brought up in an effort to be deliberately obtuse are a BS argument. I love how you harp on the HATE I'm supposedly spewing, without acknowledging what a "hater" is. Amazing.

    Your bridge is lonely. Go troll under it and be happy.
  14. I'd think that picking up bass at 14, getting into Berklee on a scholarship around 16, and becoming Berklee's youngest teacher at 20 is pretty dang impressive. Her second album, Esperanza, is incredible from start to finish. She's energetic, beautiful, and has an awesome 'fro. She certainly isn't overrated in my book!
  15. Dimmik, I see where you're going, but things just don't work that way. Especially these days, when artists make a fraction of a penny for every spin on virtual radio.

    The point is, even if she goes out and gets a day job, she has to eat. She has the opportunity and popularity to show the listening public something about jazz, though it may not be the kind of music some of us would prefer she play.

    But listen to the cadence of her speech. She talks jazz. It's getting into their brains, however slowly. In the meantime, she has to make a living. She's played the same bass she's had since she was a teenager, so I doubt she's sleeping on a bed of bullion.
  16. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Let her make some money while she's young, talented, and beautiful; that way, she'll be able to afford to play jazz in her mature years if she wants to.
  17. worxforme

    worxforme Self Actualized Bad Speller

    Dec 10, 2009
    LAnsing MI
    She made herself what she is*, we chose to buy her music. If she changes her music we can chose not to buy her music.

    *I know, someone can nitpick this like a lawyer, save it
  18. Dimmik


    Apr 16, 2012
    "Let her make some money while she's young, talented, and beautiful; that way, she'll be able to afford to play jazz in her mature years if she wants to."

    The old "I'll come back to you when I'm too old to appeal to anybody else" shtick, eh? No. If you are not committed to the preservation and furtherance of jazz then you are not a jazz artist, you're an opportunist. You go where the money is. Art for art's sake means nothing to you. If that's your strategy as an artist, then I can't support you.

    "If she changes her music we can chose not to buy her music."

    Well, yes, that's what I've been saying. I'm not a fan of the type of stuff she's doing right now and would NEVER buy it except her name was on it and I can't keep doing that and keep my self-respect intact. I'm hoping it won't come to having to drop her from my list of favorites. She has the most talent of any jazz artist I've seen in a long time. There was so much hope. I thought, "Man, this is it! FINALLY!" But now it's starting to look like we're going to be left waiting. We were SO close. I really thought this was it. Bummer, bummer, bummer.

    Then again, maybe she'll snap out of it.
  19. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Thank You
  20. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I also love the fact that people keep focusing on her looks I would tend to believe she could run circles around at half the people on this forum,

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.