By Patrick Jarenwattananon
The new Esperanza Spalding album, Radio Music Society, comes out next Tuesday, but you can hear it all now via NPR Music’s First Listen series. The tune in the video above, Wayne Shorter’s “Endangered Species,” is covered on the record.
If you were looking for an overall aesthetic to Radio Music Society, you might start here. Shorter’s 1980s and ’90s albums — “Endangered Species” is from 1985’s Atlantis — have been maligned a bit among those in the know. But this performance from Frankfurt in 1988 shows off the color effects of the heavy synths and bass guitar, the intensity of musicianship and the intricacies of the composition. He’s filtering a lot of interesting stuff through the trappings of 1980s pop music.
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