TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 96: Esperanza Spalding

Modern music listeners enjoy creating personalized playlists containing their preferred musicians and genres, but there’s one thing lacking: the expertly guiding hand of a radio station’s program director—or, even better—a tasteful DJ behind the microphone who loves to share favorite tunes, but also introduces listeners to new music that is worthy of addition to your personal faves. But, current culture has sacrificed the serendipitous nature of the radio in favor of complete control over musical choices, or—even worse—the choices of a faceless corporate AI bot.

Bassist and composer, Esperanza Spalding understands the mystery and magic that a spin of your local radio dial can provide, and in 2012 she released an album paying homage to the spirit of radio. Produced by Esperanza and co-produced by A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, Radio Music Society showcased the breadth of Spalding’s musical aptitude and inhabited the rare musical landscape of being challenging, yet also a lot of fun to listen to.

It’s been 10 years and the Grammy award-winning album finds itself eligible for reissue by Craft Recordings and is given the full anniversary treatment featuring 2 LPs pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI. The title will also be reissued in hi-res digital audio. Esperanza and I discuss the continuing role of radio in her current life and she offers a unique and descriptive behind-the-scenes peek into her production and composing process. We also explore her complimentary role as an educator and, of course, delve into what makes vinyl special to her. So, let’s turn the radio dial and search for some serendipity.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector, and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Evan Toth Show and TVD Radar on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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