ESPERANZA SPALDING "EXPOSURE" LISTENING PARTY
Songbyrd and Team 77 Present
Upstairs, All Ages
DOORS: 6:00 PM // SHOW: 6:30 PM
When singer, bassist and composer Esperanza Spalding announced the organizing conceit for a new album, it wasn’t immediately clear how to categorize her idea. Write, rehearse, and record a full-length set in only 77 hours—including naps, breaks, and meal-times?
The time limit was hardly unprecedented, given how artists schooled in jazz-performance practice have long been able to create memorable recordings in a single afternoon. Plans to livestream the entire studio session on Facebook Live provided a legitimately new angle. The radical transparency of that move also lent the forthcoming album’s title, Exposure, some extra conceptual depth. But none of these quirks were meant to be more important than the music resulting from the sessions. And Spalding’s fans had little way of knowing how the album might sound. Would it be akin to her more improvised gigs? Or patterned after the intricate singer-songwriter style that shaped prior releases like Emily’s D+Evolution? The implicit response from Spalding’s team was: “Watch and find out.”
For its part, Spalding’s label had to cover its own bet on the project. Before the studio microphones and cameras went live, Concord Music Group settled
on a limited run of 7,777 copies, split between CDs and LPs. No digital purchases would be possible, and the album would never be available to stream—another somewhat radical move, for late 2017.