Heron Oblivion's axes clash like fighting wolves, tangling like the brambles and branches that adorn the album cover. Keeping all this Crazy Horse-style madness reined in are the heart-stopping vocals of Meg Baird of Espers. Her voice can simmer low and quavering like a classic British folk singer and then rise to seemingly unattainable heights on songs like the climactic "Your Hollows." The Bay Area band is a supergroup of sorts, with members of psych-rock groups like Comets on Fire and Six Organs of Admittance. I'm sure it's even better live, so don't miss a chance to see them, including today at Amoeba SF at 6 p.m. Read my interview with the band here.
It's Sunday, the final day of the 2012 Monterey Jazz Festival, and we have another action-packed day of all-star signings at the Mini-Amoeba tent! We've had a few schedule changed, so please make note of our new, revised schedule and join us for the fun!
Tierney Sutton -- 1:30pm
Ambrose Akinmusire -- 2:30pm
Esperanza Spalding -- 4:45pm
Kyle Eastwood -- 7:30pm
Meklit Hadero -- 9:30pm
The 55th annual Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF) includes a stellar line-up of more than 500 artists performing on eight stages over the course of two days and three nights. See live sets from Tony Bennett, Eddie Palmieri, Esperanza Spalding, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Trombone Shorty, Pat Metheny, and so many more!
Swing by the Mini-Amoeba between sets for tons of rare, collectible, and out-of-print CDs and LPs for sale from our vaults. Plus, look for a host of artists who will be signing copies of their catalog CDs at our booth after their performance. We have confirmed signings with these stellar musicians at the Mini-Amoeba:
Tammi Brown -- 8:00pm
Pedrito Martinez -- 9:30pm
Mingo Fishtrap -- 5:45pm
Tierney Sutton -- 8:15pm
Christian Scott -- 9:00pm
Catherine Russell -- 9:45pm
Kyle Eastwood -- 7:30pm
Meklit Hadero -- 9:30pm
Please check back for updates on our signing schedule and further coverage! Also, check out out interviews and coverage from last year's MJF HERE!
Hard-working jazz singer/instrumentalist Esperanza Spalding, who recently played several dates in California and whose latest album Esperanza on Heads Up International has been available at Amoeba Music since it was released last month, took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with the Amoeblog this week. The jazz acoustic bassist/vocalist talked about how she defines the type of music she plays, her recent gig at the Roots Picnic in Philly, the state of jazz music in 2008, and how she got into the style of music initially.
"I fell in love with the music via the bass," said Esperanza. "Playing the instrument automatically made me a draw for jazzers who needed bass in their band, or on a gig. People would literally tell me, 'Hey if you check out these records or learn these songs, you can have this gig.' And, when the music I was assigned or turned onto was jazz, I would take it to heart and try my best to understand it. Of course, for my musical palette at that time, it took a while before I could really
appreciate what I was listening to."
As for the challenge of being both a vocalist and an instrumentalist simultaneously, the artist said that it just takes practice as far as executing the music. "But what can be difficult is being a singer, in the sense that you are engaged with the audience, and really responsible for emoting, and getting into the lyrics, melody, etc and being an effective bassist/band leader," she added. On the topic of Esperanza's music, I asked the artist how she herself describes her style? "Hmm, investigative," she replied. "I am trying to synthesize all the elements that are present, or at least present in my intention, if it doesn't always translate to the listener. I figure in a few years I'll really be able to peg my sound."
Jazz artist Esperanza Spalding is one of those rare talents that comes along every once in a while: an artist that when you first see and hear, you immediately sense is destined for bigger things, and deservedly so.
The acoustic bassist/vocalist's recommended latest album Esperanza on Heads Up International, which dropped five weeks ago and is available at Amoeba Music, displays the impressive chops of this vocalist who sounds like someone far more mature in years.
Her music, while rightfully labeled jazz (she does a lot of standards including "Body and Soul"), sometimes subtly melds elements of soul and hip-hop, hence widening her appeal. And of course the fact that she is also a most beautiful woman doesn't hurt either. Over the weekend she won over the crowd when she played at The Roots Picnic in Philly and likewise when she performed on David Letterman last week.
Also below is a great clip of Esperanza and her band live in concert in Copenhagen (courtesy of STV) performing a variety of songs including "I Adore You," and "She Got To You." There is also a short interview with the New Jersey resident in this Danish TV video clip. Over the next two nights Esperanza will be in Los Angeles. Tomorrow (Tuesday, June 10th) she will be doing a show at the Catalina Bar & Grill and on Wednesday she is scheduled to perform on The Jimmy Kimmel Show. On Thursday (6/12) she will be in the Bay Area when she performs at Oakland jazz club Yoshis down by Jack London Square.
For more information visit Eperanza Spalding's MySpace page and/ or check back here on the Amoeblog for an interview with the artist sometime over the next two weeks.