Roy Haynes and Esperanza Spalding

(2010)

Here’s a review of a Roy Haynes/Esperanza Spalding press conference at the Playboy Jazz conference. I think this was 2010. Dig the contrast.

Must have been a hundred reporters. First up was Roy Haynes, though.  What is he now, 85? He looked twenty years younger. Played twenty years younger than that. He ran that room, baby, made suckers out of the reporters, we were all laughing our heads off and recording every line, each a gem. A classic performance. Then he split to applause and in came Esperanza. The salty, hard bitten atmosphere dissipated instantly and it was almost church. We whispered. Reporters were afraid to ask anything for fear they’d bruise her. She looked so sweet, her voice was so sweet, there was so much innocence there we all stopped swearing. We knew it wasn’t real, that she couldn’t actually be a jazz musician and be that innocent. But on that off, off chance that just maybe it was, we lobbed soft questions and she answered them all, eyes sparkling.

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