Other Places: Esperanza Spalding On The News Hour

By any assessment, jazz in the 21st century is a minority music. Depending on whose statistics are accurate, it accounts for somewhere between 1% and 3% of record sales, right in there with string quartets and Gregorian chants. Some of the music’s best American players find that they are in greater demand in Europe and Japan than in the United States, although I hear from musicians that gigs are harder to find everywhere as the world economy struggles for equilibrium and recovery.
Once in a while, a young jazz artist manages to break through to audiences who ordinarily prefer music that requires less attention. One attracting considerable notice without dumbing down is the bassist, composer and singer Esperanza Spalding, recently the subject of this Rifftides recommendation. On The News Hour on PBS last night, Jeffrey Brown reported on Spalding.

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