Saxophone legend John Coltrane once famously said, “If one of my friends is ill, I’d like to play a certain song and he will be cured; when he’d be broke, I’d bring out a different song and immediately he’d receive all the money he needed.” Modern-day jazz extraordinaire esperanza spalding is making that idea a reality with the release of her new project, Songwrights Apothecary Lab, and accompanying song suite and short film.
Inspired by a retreat she started in her hometown of Portland, Oregon with 10 other artists of color, spalding intentionally crafted a three-song suite called “TRIANGLE,” guided by a variety of principles ranging from neuroscience to South Indian Carnatic music, and intended to elicit different emotions. The songs (titled “formwela 1,” “2” and “3”) are designed to self-soothe, de-escalate aggression and support listeners in times of anger under the supervision of medical professionals.
spalding’s first release since 2018’s 12 Little Spells, “TRIANGLE” features additional production and contributions from Raphael Saadiq, jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter and Chicago hip hop go-to producer PHOELIX.
You can hear spalding’s new songs via the short film below and find out more about the Songwrights Apothecary Lab here.