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Esperanza Spalding Emily’s D + Evolution (Concord Records)

After seeing Esperanza’s impressive live showcase of this album at Shepherds Bush Empire late last year, for those who love he soul and jazz catalogue, this embraces more of a rock, jazz, fusion influence. It’s certainly abstract and an acquired taste, very reminiscent of the 1970’s era, which is attributed to groups like Santana and The John Mahavishnu Orchestra. The first four songs “Good Lava”, “Unconditional Love”, “Judas” and “Earth To Heaven” see’s Esperanza transform into a Kate Bush ‘Wuthering Height’s’ vocal octave of eerie and mysterious proportions. “Rest In Pleasure”, the albums second longest track reminds me in parts of Art Of Noise’s “Moments In Love”. It’s more of an experimental listening album that other than a short and sweet acapella bass funk “Farewell Dolly”, does provide more R&B melodic cut. “Funk The Fear” has chants and the complicated rhythm changes funk fusion is renowned for, with a touch of Carlos Santana rock and soul lead guitar.


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