Posts Tagged ‘Angelica Sanchez’


New York @ Night: May 2013

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

From the May 2013 issue of The New York City Jazz Record:

When trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and pianist Angelica Sanchez played duo at Greenwich House Music School (April 6), there were zones of deep concentration and silence, but also an outburst or two from car horns on the small West Village street just outside. Smith’s horn, too, shattered the calm, but with high musical intent and creative control. Three of the six untitled improvisations began with Smith solo, commanding the room with triple-fortissimo shouts, relaxed and poetic legato lines, coarse multiphonic timbres, breath tones and fast blurry runs. Receiving all this inspiration from a few feet away, Sanchez showed a great virtuosic reach, favoring a dark language with 20th-century echoes. At one point she strove to drown out the car horns with a dissonant crescendo, but in quieter moments one could hear her voice, singing the notes and melodies as they emerged. Her sparse rubato passages and harp-like string strumming had a way of bringing out Smith’s lyricism and introspection. “More,” called out one listener after the fifth piece, but Smith grinned and turned the request around: “How much more?” Then began the stormy encore, with rumbling rhythms and patterns and a huge, long-decaying bass note from the piano as its final gesture. The rich harmonic bed of this collaboration sets it apart from Smith’s other recent duos with Louis Moholo-Moholo, Anthony Braxton, Adam Rudolph, Jack DeJohnette and others. There will in fact be more: Smith and Sanchez entered the studio the next day to record.  (David R. Adler)

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With the band name Voyager emblazoned on his bass drum head, drummer Eric Harland appeared at Jazz Standard (April 13) and played five powerful extended numbers straight through. In this second of three sets, the leader spoke only at the end to introduce his colleagues: tenorist Walter Smith III, guitarist Julian Lage, pianist Taylor Eigsti and bassist Harish Raghavan. Each of these mammoth musicians could have played a full solo set and left the crowd happy, but what they did was a sequence of unaccompanied virtuoso spots to introduce or transition the tunes — “Intermezzos,” as Harland termed them on his 2011 debut Voyager: Live By Night (Sunnyside). Following a bright and challenging opener with the provisional title “New Song,” Lage brought a ragged experimentalism and strategic effects-pedal tweaking to his intro on “Voyager.” Raghavan was nimble and deeply expressive as he segued into the lyrical waltz ballad “Trust the Light.” Eigsti destroyed at the piano but also brought a cool and glowing harmony to the band, taking the spotlight right before the irresistibly soulful “Eclipse.” Smith battled a little harder to be heard, but he shred the music to pieces consistently. Harland’s show-stopping solo before “Play With Me,” the catchy groove-based finale, might have topped the energy of all previous intermezzos combined. But Harland doesn’t seek to dominate: he picks players who can do what he does, transforming the moment in their own highly personal way.  (DA)


Six Picks: November 2012

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

My monthly list of recommended CDs, as published in The New York City Jazz Record, November 2012:

Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, Live (ECM)

Michael Blake, In the Grand Scheme of Things (Songlines)

Dan Block, Duality (Miles High)

George Cables, My Muse (HighNote)

Dave King, I’ve Been Ringing You (Sunnyside)

Angelica Sanchez Quintet, Wires & Moss (Clean Feed)


Reviews: Angelica Sanchez, Feldman/Courvoisier

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

My review [pdf] of A Little House, Angelica Sanchez’s marvelous solo piano disc, is in the May 2011 issue of Stereophile.

Here’s an older one [pdf], from the June 2010 Stereophile — a tandem review of Oblivia and To Fly To Steal, by Mark Feldman and Sylvie Courvoisier. Took a little while to get my hands on that issue.