Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ladies of the Bass

Enraged Justin Bieber fans will never read this, so I can write freely without safety concerns.

But, if Bieber fans -- particularly the twitter-mob that attacked Esperanza Spalding for having the temerity to win the Best New Artist Grammy -- are reading this (and I know they aren't), may I clarify some confusion about the instrument involved? Esperanza doesn't play a "big violin." Nor is she a "freak" for choosing to play the "big violin."

Women have been playing the "big violin" -- aka the bass -- for years. Orin O'Brien, a bassist with the New York Philharmonic since the '60s, is tops in the field of classical music.  Tal Wilkenfeld, an amazing young guitarist, performs with Jeff Beck. Suzi Quatro is a huge talent.

And very nice crossword-y names, thank you very much:  ORIN, TAL and SUZI.

Esperanza Spalding has taken bass playing and performance to a new and exciting level.  Totally deserving of the Best New Artist Grammy.  To the Bieber fans who aren't reading this -- Justin wasn't robbed from the Petri Dish. Spalding won, fair and square.

A YouTube comment sums it up:

Esperanza Spalding,

Thank you for winning the Grammy.

Signed: The Human Race.


Joanne said...

The tween population can be so judgmental. And oblivious. I'm so glad I'm no longer part of it. Here's to real musicians getting what they have rightfully earned!

Joe K. said...

A bit of an understatement to introduce her as a bass player; Her ability to play just about any instrument while singing like that is simply incredible. Jazz has its standout vocalists that are recognizable by their first name alone: Billie and Ella. Esperanza is one natural talent who could put herself within striking distance of those two.

By the way, Spalding sounded like a familiar jazz name to me, but alas she is unrelated to James Spaulding ... note the different spelling.

KarmaSartre said...


17 letters

Go diagramless!