Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Angelica Sanchez, Wadada Leo Smith, Twine Forest

Pianist Angelica Sanchez is one of those relatively new voices on the new jazz scene. She has great inventiveness, a harmonic-melodic brilliance which combines with a respect for the tradition that comes out in very original ways. She has been a part of some of Wadada Leo Smith's most important recent recordings and she now joins him in a series of trumpet-piano duets on Twine Forest (Clean Feed 287).

The two seem inspired, running through eight Sanchez compositions with greatly dramatic sympathy for one another's very music utterances. There is a poignant space that surrounds the two and punctuates their every phrase. It's the sort of outing where you hear new music avant influences in the overall matrix and then there are distinct blendings of that with a "jazz" sensibility. There are especially moving moments that have an out, yet bluesy soulfulness that Wadada and Angelica handle so well.

It's another breakthrough disk in many ways for Angelica; you hear her at great length and in inspired form. Wadada sounds his usual excellent self. There are very few out there who come close to his zen-like sound sculpture approach, his impeccable timing, his beautifully varied timbre and his always-right, always-meaningful entrances.

So if you follow the free, the new, the avant in "jazz" today, this is one not to pass by. Angelica Sanchez gives notice that she is here to stay and Wadada reminds us he's never left.

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