BUSY! BUSY! Antonio Sanchez: Three Times Three, Antonio Sanchez & Migration: The Meridian Suite

Drummer Antonio Sanchez took some time off touring with Pat Metheny and making soundtracks for Birdman to put out two impressive and completely divergent releases, promising something for everyone.

The two disc Three Times Three has Sanchez in trio settings with Brad Mehldau/p and Matt Brewer/b, then John Schofield/g and Christian McBride/b and lastly with Joe Lovano/ts and John Patitucci/b. All three sessions are worthwhile just to hear how the sparks can fly with various lighter fluids.

Mehldau seems cozy and content not being in the leadership role here, being gorgeously lyrical and hip on “Nar-this” and impressionistic on “Big Dream” while Sanchez and Brewer flex their muscles on “Constellatins.” Sanchez and McBride get feisty on “Rooney and Vinski” as well on the funky “Nooks and Crannies” while Scofield supplies the bluesy riffs here and on the spacey to forward charging read of  Wayne Shorter’s “Fall.” Things get a bit freer with Lovano and Patitucci, as a laconic “I Mean You” takes the Monk tune and gives it a restless edge, while Sanchez lets loose on “Leviathan” and Lovano cries out on the loquacious and loose “Firenze.”  Overwhelmingly impressive!

Sanchez’s own group Migration includes Seamus Blake/ts-EWI, John Escreet-p-key and  Matt Brewer/b along with guest vocalist Thana Alexa and guitarist Adam Rogers. The melancholic dirge “Imaginary Lines” features Alexa’s alluring voice along with solos Brewer and Escreet that build up into a dramatic dance. An excitingly repetitive groove on “Grids and Patterns” features Sanchez driving Blake’s tenor forward while the two go mano a mano on the arm wrestling match of “Magnetic Currents.” A complex fusion “Channels of Energy” is intense and fiery, with Brewer’s bass getting some sunshine, and the closer, a 21+ minute opus “Pathways of the Mind,” takes you on a flowing journey with waves of sound building up like the intensity of holding your breath, with occasional sonic exhalations before the last crescent lead by Adam Rogers’ guitar. Wondrous and vibrant on its own different terms. Bravo!

Cam Jazz Records



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