Esperanza Spalding: TRIANGLE | Review

Esperanza Spalding: TRIANGLE | Review

With her latest three-song suite, Esperanza Spalding follows a long line of Black artists who have sought to bring out music’s untapped potential for healing—from the rich oeuvres of John and Alice Coltrane to the John Coltrane Church that still stands over five decades later in San Francisco. Inspired by a far-reaching array of influences (Sufism, Black American and South Indian music), Spalding etched out early versions of the tracks and shared them with would-be collaborators. After consulting with music therapists, neuroscientists, and other practitioners, the resulting TRIANGLE suite is both meditative and operatic by design: Each “formwela” (song) not only elicits a different emotional response, but also attests to an intended outcome and benefit for the listener. In recent years, Spalding’s albums have, in one form or another, delved into the connections between our physical and metaphysical selves: In 2016, Emily's D+Evolution lent a voice to an alter ego derived from her middle name, while each song on 2018’s 12 Little Spells corresponded to a particular body part. In the years since her breakout Grammy win for Best New …
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