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Seven collaborative and five solo albums into her career at 31, Esperanza Spalding has always resolutely, intuitively, deftly expanded upon both her art and herself as a world-renowned genre-bending composer, bassist and vocalist. Spalding’s work, grounded in jazz traditions but never bound by them, has won her four Grammy awards and brought her onstage at the Oscars, the Nobel Prize Ceremony, the White House, and with Prince and Herbie Hancock. Not only does she know who she is, we know who she is.
Or, rather, we think we do. the elastic self and work of a true artist is always changing; ideas are channeled, shape-shifting becomes necessary. Emily’s D+Evolution (pronounced “d plus evolution”) is where we meet Emily--both Esperanza’s middle name and the label for the spirit-muse that flows through this multi-dimensional, theatrical performance artwork wrapped in a brilliantly urgent, vivacious record. With 6 tracks co-produced by Tony Visconti (David Bowie) and drawing, at times, from wellsprings as disparate as Cream to Shostakovich to St. Vincent, Emily’s D+Evolution is a kaleidoscopic project; raw, honest, luminous.