On her first release since swiping last year’s Best New Artist Grammy from poor, defenseless Justin Bieber, the singer-bassist sounds eager for a pop crossover — check out her funky take on Michael Jackson’s ”I Can’t Help It,” and ”City of Roses,” a soulful pair-up with Q-Tip. But Radio Music Society is no dumb-down job: Closer ”Smile Like That” finds her brandishing sour notes (and revered sideman Jack DeJohnette on the drums) with jazz-nerd verve. B
POP CONVERT The Grammy winner combines funk, soul and pop to offer a blend of standout tracks (Carlos Pericas)
Genre: Jazz; Lead Performer: Esperanza Spalding; Music Label: Heads Up
Posted January 17 2015 — 5:04 PM EST
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