Radio Music Society

Radio Music Society

5.0 1
by Esperanza Spalding
     
 

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Esperanza Spalding's fourth album, Radio Music Society (a companion piece to Chamber Music Society in name only) is one of enormous ambition -- polished production, sophisticated, busy charts, and classy songwriting -- that consciously juxtaposes neo-soul and adult-oriented jazz-tinged pop. It employs a stellar castSee more details below

Overview

Esperanza Spalding's fourth album, Radio Music Society (a companion piece to Chamber Music Society in name only) is one of enormous ambition -- polished production, sophisticated, busy charts, and classy songwriting -- that consciously juxtaposes neo-soul and adult-oriented jazz-tinged pop. It employs a stellar cast, largely of jazz musicians, to pull it off. She produced the set, with help from Q-Tip on a couple of numbers, and wrote all but two songs here: a cover of "I Can't Help It" (a Michael Jackson cover written by Stevie Wonder) and Wayne Shorter's "Endangered Species." There are truckloads of players, including three different all-star drummers in Terri Lyne Carrington, Jack DeJohnette, and Billy Hart, saxophonist Joe Lovano, and guitarists Jef Lee Johnson and Lionel Loueke on "Black Gold" (which also contains his vocals and an appearance by the Savannah Children's Choir). Though Ms. Spalding takes most lead vocals, there are also duet appearances from Lalah Hathaway and Algebra Blessett. Backing vocalists include Gretchen Parlato (who also anchors a chorus on several tunes) and Leni Stern. The American Music Program horn section appears on three cuts. The highlights here include "Crowned & Kissed" (a Q-Tip co-production) with its rubbery bassline, contrapuntal horns, Leo Genovese's artful pianism, and Carrington's impeccable sense of swing that bridges funk, neo-soul, jazz, and hip-hop. "Radio Song" contains layered interpolated rhythms (again courtesy of Carrington), sparkling Rhodes piano, syncopated horns and backing chorus, Spalding's alto croon, and a taut, popping bassline. Lovano's saxophone adds a truly elegant and graceful dimension to "I Can't Help It." The charts on Shorter's tune (with lyrics by Spalding) illuminate what may have been the composer's intent all along -- and nod at Pastorius-era Weather Report simultaneously. DeJohnette's funky subtlety drives the knotty fingerpop of "Let Her," and Hart's trademark, shimmering cymbal work on "Hold on Me" complements Spalding's sultry vocal in retro bluesy pop -- it's one of only a couple of places on the record where she plays acoustic bass. While Radio Music Society may play better to younger pop audiences than more die-hard jazzheads, this program is so diverse and well executed -- despite a little overreaching -- it's anybody's guess.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/20/2012
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0888072331747
catalogNumber:
33174
Rank:
8923

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Esperanza Spalding   Primary Artist,Electric Bass,Vocals,Acoustic Bass
Lalah Hathaway   Vocals
Terri Lyne Carrington   Drums
Jack DeJohnette   Drums
Billy Hart   Drums
Joe Lovano   Tenor Saxophone
Leni Stern   Background Vocals
Darren Barrett   Trumpet
Jamey Haddad   Percussion
Jef Lee Johnson   Guitar
Q-Tip   Glockenspiel,Vocals
James Weidman   Organ
Thara Memory   Conductor
Janice Scroggins   Piano
Dan Brewster   Trombone
Jeff Galindo   Trombone
Gretchen Parlato   Background Vocals,Spoken Word
Kyle Zimmerman   Alto Saxophone
Algebra Blessett   Vocals
Raymond Angry   Organ
Renato Caranto   Alto Saxophone
Stan Bock   Trombone
Lionel Loueke   Guitar,Vocals
Leo Genovese   Piano,Keyboards,fender rhodes,Guembir
Gilad Hekselman   Guitar
Raydar Ellis   Sounds,Spoken Word
Jody Redhage   Cello
Becca Stevens   Background Vocals
Daniel Blake   Flute,Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Olivia DePrato   Violin
Ricardo Vogt   Guitar
Corey King   Trombone
Igmar Thomas   Trumpet
Alan Hampton   Background Vocals
Lyndon Rochelle   Drums
Justin Brown   Background Vocals
Tivon Pennicott   Tenor Saxophone
Chris Turner   Background Vocals
Andrew Olson   Alto Saxophone
Tree Palmedo   Trumpet
Stanley Mathabane   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Savannah Children's Choir   Choir, Chorus
Sam Seacrist   Alto Saxophone
Noah Hocker   Trumpet
Noah Conrad   Trumpet
Nicole Glover   Tenor Saxophone
Matt Warming   Trombone
Kiran Bosley   Trumpet
Kama Bell   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
John Carey   Alto Saxophone
Jerry Stalnaker   Bass Trombone
Jeff Rathbone   Baritone Saxophone
Javier Nero   Trombone
Ian Garner   Trombone
Hayden Conrad   Tenor Saxophone
Benjamin Seacrist   Trumpet
Benjamin G. McDonald   Trumpet
Ashton Summers   Trombone
Anthony Diamond   Saxophone,Soloist
Aaron Reihs   Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

Terri Lyne Carrington   Additional Production
Gil Goldstein   Arranger
Wayne Shorter   Composer
Joe Ferla   Engineer
Susaye Greene Brown   Composer
Dave Love   Associate Executive Producer
Q-Tip   Producer,Executive Producer
Bob Stark   Engineer
Joseph Vitarelli   Composer
Stevie Wonder   Composer
Thara Memory   Arranger,Horn Arrangements
Paul Blakemore   Mastering
Blair Wells   Engineer
Algebra Blessett   Composer
Brian Montgomery   Engineer
Esperanza Spalding   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist,Producer,Writer
Raydar Ellis   Engineer
James Frazee   Engineer
Daniel Florestano   Executive Producer
Fernando Lodeiro   Engineer
Roland Lefox Nicol   Illustrations
Dan Hallas   Producer
Zulema Mejias   Producer
Susana Ojeda   Photo Assistance
Pilar Sanz   Director
Nuria Monferrer   Production Director
Jeff De Blois   Illustrations
Arantza Benito Melgar   Associate Executive Producer

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