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Los Angeles Times

Jazz Spotlight David Sanchez Is Yet Another Adventurer In The Post-Mainstream Jazz World


October 7, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Times Mirror Company. All Rights Reserved.

Saxophonist David Sanchez is yet another adventurer in the post-mainstream jazz world. Members of his regular group--in part because they are such gifted individual players, in part because they have had the opportunity to work together on a continuing basis--make up one of the finest, and far too little acknowledged, ensembles on the current jazz scene.

"Travesia" (* * * Columbia Jazz) doesn't quite reach the passionate intensity of Sanchez's previous album, "Melaza," but it is still first-rate. Although recorded in the studio, it nonetheless affords a good opportunity to experience the sort of magic that takes place in Sanchez's live sets.

One of the most compelling works, "Paz Pa Vieques (Seis Chorreao)/Peace for Vieques ," shifts from traditional rhythms into improvisational back and forth--especially between Sanchez and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon. Surging with an intensity reflecting an undercurrent of outrage regarding, as Sanchez notes, "the miserable conditions" in his beleaguered Puerto Rican homeland, the piece is a superb example of what this band does best.

Other tracks showcase Sanchez, whose individuality seems to grow with each new recording, in a standard setting ("Ill Wind") as well as within the atmospheric music of Brazilian Edu Lobo ("Pra Dizer Adeus"). The final track, a stop-and-start theme titled "The Power of the Word," juxtaposes the intertwining lines of Sanchez and Zenon in the latter's composition--suggesting that, like Sanchez, he is a talent to watch.


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