Jan 21 2020
Best of 2019 #56: Marta Sanchez Quintet – “El Rayo de Luz”
Choppy waves jostle the boat and they crash loudly upon the shore and move at brisk speeds that defy the tranquility of a serene lake, and, yet, if those waves were composed by Marta Sánchez, that lake would still elicit a powerfully hypnotic effect. The pianist has a talent for setting melodies free in a turbulent environment, and yet attaining a flow like the sweetest song. Her 2015 release Partenika was proof of that talent in the strongest sense, perhaps captured most vividly in the staying power of the melodies, and how some had an almost timeless quality to them, even as they were framed by compositions that were clearly made from the stuff of the present day. Her 2019 release El Rayo de Luz continues in that vein, but diverges where Sánchez focuses more of her attention on the nuance of those waves, and how tiny permutations effected at just the right moment make the biggest splash.
Your album personnel: Marta Sánchez (piano), Roman Filiu (alto sax), Chris Cheek (tenor sax), Rick Rosato (bass), and Daniel Dor (drums).
Released on the Fresh Sound New Talent label.
Music from New York City.
I wrote about this album for The Bandcamp Daily.
Cool album cover artwork by Alicia Martin Lopez.
Jan 28 2020
Best of 2019 #28: Wing Walker Orchestra – “Hazel”
Of the various influences referenced by band leader Drew Williams as shaping this album (tUnE-yArDs, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Radiohead, the graphic novel Saga), it’s that of Guillermo Klein’s ensemble Los Guachos that speaks to the heart of Hazel. For this is folk music, through and through. Yes, the Wing Walker Orchestra gives voice to a futuristic type of folk music, one perhaps whose roots haven’t yet taken hold in the soil. But in much the same way that Guillermo Klein does with the materials of modern jazz and Argentinian musics, Drew Williams’ ensemble draws a poignancy and epic expressionism from their own influences, and imbue their music with a quality that is much more than just jazz or folk and yet undeniably both. The lyricism of Hazel possesses a strange allure, in that way misshapen objects command the attention and redefine the concept of beauty. Ultimately, it may this characteristic that captures the essence of the album’s winning personality.
Your album personnel: Drew Williams (bass clarinet), Marta Sánchez (piano), Brad Mulholland (alto sax, clarinet), Eric Trudel (tenor sax), John Blevins (trumpet), Danny Gouker (trumpet), Karl Lyden (trombone), Nick Grinder (trombone), Jeff McLaughlin (guitar), Adam Hopkins (acoustic bass) and Nathan Ellman-Bell (drums).
Released on Ears & Eyes Records.
Music from Jersey City, NJ.
I wrote about the album for The Bandcamp Daily.
Cool cover art by Brendan Culp.
Listen | Read more | Available at: Bandcamp – Amazon
By davesumner • Recap: Best of 2019 • 2 • Tags: Best Jazz of 2019, Drew Williams, Ears and Eyes Records, Jersey City (NJ), Marta Sanchez, Wing Walker Orchestra