Jazz Star Esperanza Spalding in Concert at the Ravinia Pavilion
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The last date listed for Esperanza Spalding was Monday June 25, 2012 / 8:00pm.
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Featured review from Goldstar Member
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Esperanza is a remarkable young jazz musician--an outstanding bassist, vocalist, lyricist, and composer who gave her heart and soul to the audience when she performed last night. And the crowd responded resoundingly. She is a force of nature.
This concert was unique among jazz presentations I've seen, in that it had a story line, with a consciousness-raising center. And she went for it all the way.
I loved that she came back alone for the encore, and just sang a couple of moving songs with her double bass, before being joined by the rest of the rhythm section.
The rest of the concert was all with a big band backing her up, filled with talented players. They were great, although I would have loved a little more contrast---I was hoping she would also play with a small string ensemble, as she does on her chamber music album, and it would have been nice to hear her solo work here and there a little sooner. But perhaps this would not have worked with her story concept.
In any case, I was very glad I went.
Regarding the venue, having arrived a little late to pick up my solo ticket, I asked the box office if there were another unused seat closer to the center that it could be switched for. While there were some individual solo seats there, they said they were not allowed to switch Goldstar tickets for others, even if the others were unused. Since it was an intermission-less concert, that meant staying put where I was in the FF section, in the far back right.
It wasn't bad, but since she played to the middle, I had to rely mostly on two big screens set up in the pavillion for close-up viewing. That added to the visual, although I hated to have to rely on watching a screen (like 95% of life these days) when the real performer was right there. And the angle of the camera shot almost always put the microphone square over her mouth (a little more creative video work would have been a positive).
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Jazz is a strange kind of music that always seems to devolve into a free-for-all of musicians just making random noises that happen to be on the same scale. In my experience, this always reaches a point where I get bored -- almost irritated --...continued