Spalding's only two covers here are Stevie Wonder ("I Can't Help It") and Wayne Shorter ("Endangered Species"). In interviews, she also names David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, and Earth Wind & Fire as songwriting inspirations— the music of her parents' generation. In a recent phone press conference, she said she hopes that the new disc can provoke a "dialogue" about pop radio. "Is it that audiences have a very narrow taste palate, or is it that there are so few places to access new, different music, that audiences . . . get so bombarded with one sound that it sort of feeds itself?" Spalding might not change pop radio, but her personal agenda — her social impulse — is part of her charm, and it's helped make her own music — with its coterie of individual voices contained as part of her vision — another kind of fresh breeze. ^

ESPERANZA SPALDING & RADIO MUSIC SOCIETY | Orpheum Theatre, 1 Hamilton Place, Boston | April 22 | $28-$45 | 617.876.4275 or 

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