Last year she took a small group of Dutch jazz lovers by storm, but after that: silence. It's nothing but the calm before the storm, if we are to believe Esperanza Spalding
herself. The lovely lady from Portland is a cross between Norah Jones, Nina Simone and RonCarter. Having fun with the audience is truly her stuff. 'I've always had some sort of audience fetish. In grade school I always wanted to be in the front row during theater shows and performances. And I always was. I constantly tried to steal the limelight from everyone else. That urge to receive attention has never left me.' It is obvious when Spalding performs on stage. She only plays with experienced musicians. And without forcing it she does command everyone's attention. Her second album Esperanza
that was released last year is a perfect combination of her talents. Her voice, her lyrical bass playing and talent for writing songs make her an irresistible artist. She can also be heard on the CD Folk Art
, the recent work by sax player Joe Lovano. This New Yorker was one of her teachers at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.