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4.7 out of 5 stars15
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 16 November 2010
Having never listened to jazz before...I bought this album on a spur of the moment having read a review in a national newspaper. I have not been disappointed! I'm not sure what to say really about the album as I'm not qualified enough to talk about jazz...but what I do know is that I like good music. And I can tell you, this is good music. Fantastic vocals, brilliant musicianship, catchy songs. If anyone wants to point me in the direction of some other good jazz albums that would be greatly appreciated!
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on 3 October 2010
I love jazz, but sometimes I feel that many of the most talented jazz artists get carried away in the demonstration of their technique and talent, at the expense of free expression of feeling jazz was once about. The result is solos with perfect technique that are nevertheless emotionally dry. 'Chamber Music Society' is the perfect antidote to my personal disillusionment; it takes amazing talent to bring across the sense of free-wheeling emotion and weightlessness that is integral to this album. This is contemporary jazz at its best - the music of the heart!
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on 21 July 2011
Esperanza Spalding is probably one of the most talented female modern jazz musicians of this decade. On her third album "Chamber Music Society", she blends her unique style of scat and singing to a background of her usual jazz instrumentation but, this time, with the addition of violins. This combination makes her third album her most original and accomplished work to date with a somewhat more mature feel to it. Although the latin influence seems less apparent here, the conviction and passion she shows to her music appear stronger, accompanied by a more assured sense of direction.

The opening track "Little Fly" and "Wild Is The Wind" are the two highlights of the album for me. Both are very well crafted, subtle yet incredibly haunting pieces of music with lovely vocals from Esperanza. The other tracks are very attractive too. "Knowledge Of Good And Evil" and "Chacarera" have mesmerising solo musical sections. Milton Nasciemento lends his vocals to "Apple Blossom" which make this track even more intriguing as they somehow blend really well with Esperanza's higher range. The only critisism I have is that a few too many of the tracks see Esperanza using scat rather than lyrics to accompany the music ("What A Friend", "Short And Sweet" and parts of "Inutil Paisagem").

Overall, the music is indeed very inspiring and captivating. The more I listen to this album, the more I enjoy the music, and the more I appreciate Esperanza's talent.
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on 23 April 2011
Delighted. Hoped to see Ms Spalding with Joe Lovano and US Five and didn't and sulked, then bought the cd on impulse anyway. It's so good I'm almost tempted to buy it twice. This is the album to buy is you've done the whole 'classic' jazz tour and are looking for something fresh. My only reversation about expanding my Spalding holding is that she looks different everytime I see her pic, and I'm a little concerned that her previous albums might not sound much like Chamber.
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on 7 January 2011
This is a fabulous album. Its my introduction to her music and I love it. A breath of fresh air that i really needed. I strongly Advise anyone who loves jazz to buy this album the music is so versatile it can be used in a number of occasions.
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Esperanza Spalding sings and plays the big bad bass.
This is to hugely understate her self-evident gifts!
Ms Spalding's formal musical studies shine through in
this, her third, wonderful album ('Jungo', 2006 and
'Esperanza', 2008 also deserve our attention and applause)
but are tempered by an appetite for improvisation and
exploration. Her way with the bass can be both light as a
summer breeze and as robust as a (well-behaved!) rottweiler;
her voice, a flexible, meliflouous and enchanting instrument.

She is joined on the eleven tracks in this collection by
Leo Genovese/piano, Terri Lyne Carrington/drums and a
beautifully integrated string trio. Gil Goldstein produces.

Highlights would have to include the delightfully sinuous
'Knowledge Of Good and Evil', an elegant and whistful
composition which finds Ms Spalding wordlessly warbling
along as though she hasn't a care in the world (Gretchen
Parlato provides additional vocal decorations). It's a
gentle feelgood number which wears its heart on its sleeve.
'Chacarera', too, weaves a tapestry of silvery magic in the air.
The mercurial interplay between voice, piano and cello (played
splendidly by David Eggar) together with the spluttering Latin
rhythm slips and slithers and slides like oil on water.
'Apple Blossom' delivers a lovely duet with Milton Nascimento.
An engaging and curiously affecting tale well-told by both singers.
Final track 'Short and Sweet' is a beautiful elegy whose subtly
crafted and understated thematic material brings the album
to a reflectively down-beat close (Mr Genovese's vigorously
lyrical piano solo deserves an especial mention all its own!)

'Chamber Music Society' is a captivating project which
consolidates Ms Spalding's reputation as one of the most
distinctive and enjoyable new luminaries in the world of jazz.
It is a thing of simple joy from beginning to end.

Highly Recommended.
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on 21 May 2013
If you love contemporary jazz you will love this. Esperanza Spalding is a unique talent. She uses her bass playing and her vocals to thoroughly explore every musical inch of the harmonic structures of the tunes, some self-penned, to great effect. And it all sounds so effortless. My only criticism is that sometimes musicians' music (as this is) can sometimes sacrifice emotional depth for scientific excellence. But I find most of these tracks stimulating, engaging and surprisingly catchy.
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VINE VOICEon 13 May 2011
Have been listening to Esperanza Spalding for quite a while now and am so happy that she is finally been recognized within the music world. Not only is the voice great but she is a hugely talented double bass player. I love the mixes on this new cd, quite something. The harmony's are great, the lyrics are sparse yet enough. Just a great jazz cd from a new artist who is finally making waves in the mainstream music business. Will keep listening and recommending her. If you like Esperanza try listening to another great jazz double bass player - Linda Oh.
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on 5 January 2011
I see no reason why anybody who's willing to listen something good and new hasn't this cd at home.. Without a doubt, this is the greatest E.S. we've seen since Junjo. A must have in your collection!
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on 17 January 2013
I was introduced to Esperanza but our son (Christmas present Radio Music Society) and have subsequently bought this album. Her music really is unique and I want to hear more. Both albums are on my iPod so I can listen to them anywhere. Wonderful music.
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