Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Angelica Sanchez: Wires & Moss

Angelica Sanchez (piano)
Wires & Moss (Clean Feed; 2012)
Tony Malaby (sax)
Marc Ducret (guitar)
Drew Gress (bass)
Tom Rainey (drums)

Everyone knows I tend to rave about Fred Hersch and Jason Moran as my favourite modern pianists. But there are others that are emerging with the same talent and vision as these two future legends. Kris Davis is definitely one of those that I put in the list. Recently I have also been listening another bright and inventive composer, Angelica Sanchez.

Sanchez, now with her forth album (third for Clean Feed), hopefully will find a wider audience. With Wires & Moss, she explores an ever growing lyrical and conceptual structure that is both calm and free flowing. "Loomed" is an expansive piece with various layers of expression, tightly pulled together by Ducret, Malaby and Rainey. Sanchez and Gress play the static calm palate to the trio's frenetic brushes. But it's always the leader who carries the tune's soft undulating notes towards the close.

"Wires & Moss" is a stunning display of rolling melodies. Sanchez's performance is filled with multiple chord changes and jagged directional cues for the rest of the quintet. Early on, Ducret shines with crafty Arto Lindsay meets Thurston Moore type qualities. The piece moves up, down and outward. The rest of the group approach midway through and it becomes more poetic with each movement. Gress and Sanchez take the band quietly out with some beautiful passages.

Motionless might be the feeling you get from the closing number, "Bushido." This starts off gently but then moves roughly in staccato motion while consistently holding the listener in place. The entire quintet is scorching on this number and exemplifies Sanchez's creative vision that she has worked on since setting out as a leader over a decade ago.

Angelica Sanchez writes with a very cerebral approach that puts her in a category of the previous mentioned artist from my point of view. If you haven't experienced her music before--now is the time. Wires & Moss is absolutely brilliant and highly, highly recommended!

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