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About: “Free Radicals of Innovation DVD”

“I learned how to not be afraid to provide my ideas and take chance.”
—State Government
Michelle G.


from Ayva Musica


Junjo boasts an unusual format: A young American woman playing bass and singing wordless vocals with the accompaniment of a Cuban pianist and drummer. But 22-year-old Esperanza Spalding, an Oregon native who teaches at Boston's Berklee College of Music, is so confident in her multiple roles (she also produced the album, released on a Spanish label) and the music goes down so easily, all awareness of her band's makeup quickly fades. With their lighter-than-air quality, the tunes sometimes recall early Return to Forever (an association underlined by the inclusion of a Chick Corea composition) and her playing boasts the warm, richly amplified quality favored by many young bassists. But with pianist Aruan Ortiz stretching and shaping the melodies, Junjo is winningly personal. In addition to several originals by Spalding, alone or in collaboration with Ortiz or her drummer, Francisco Mela, it includes a smart and playful reworking of Jimmy Rowles' classic, “The Peacocks.“ --Lloyd Sachs

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