Bright Variations Sparkling
Now a Harvard Professor of Music, this album’s creation was livestreamed in September to display the creative and performing process – an event I missed and have only read about – but needless to say, as with my first review of her work here, Spalding is a continuing huge talent and the sustained jazz-inflected music on Exposure is graced with her songcraft, bass playing and the vocal/harmony arrangements, as with third Heavens in Pennies where a rising rousing conclusion is a jamboree of beautiful voices. Colonial Fire, reminding of Joni Mitchell’s jazz oeuvre, presents the lyrical intensity too, the title speaking for itself, a poetic narrative delivered along a raw-plucked guitar and spooky organ sounds. The piano and voice of Geriment showcases a classical leaning, the operatic snapshot beautiful, and following track I Am Telling You returns to jazz syncopated ground to keep the bright variations sparkling. Love the 'Willie the Pimp' riff on The Ways You Got the Love.