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Antonio Sanchez: New Life (2013)

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Antonio Sanchez: New Life Track review of "Medusa"

How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Add Antonio Sanchez's name to the list of modern era drumming titans. He cut his teeth with guitarist Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
b.1954
guitar
amid stints with vibraphonist Gary Burton
Gary Burton
Gary Burton
b.1943
vibraphone
and first-call session activities, paralleling his burgeoning solo career that continues to flourish. Sanchez always performs with his peers, and with the superstar dual sax attack of David Binney
David Binney
David Binney
b.1961
saxophone
and Donny McCaslin
Donny McCaslin
Donny McCaslin
b.1966
saxophone
steering the front line, the drummer imparts diversity on this presentation that tenders alternating currents, dynamic modern jazz fare and a few sensitive moments. It's a multi-hued portraiture of an artist who continues to grow and branch out; diversification is a key factor on New Life.

Nascent pianist John Escreet
John Escreet
John Escreet
b.1984
piano
assists with the groove-building episodes during the piece based on the monstrous Greek mythological figure "Medusa," as the saxophonists spark a heated frenzy via circular unison choruses. Sanchez injects a Latin touch in concert with bristling bop phrasings from the front line and other segments, featuring slippery drum and bass grooves.

It's a festive and robust endeavor tweaked with portentous undertones, as the drummer darts and dances across the kit while the saxophonists tear it up. The band projects a mighty presence, with Binney and McCaslin reformulating the primary melody, counterbalanced with a throng of highs, lows and rapid-fire breakouts.

Personnel: Antonio Sanchez: drums, vocals, additional keyboards; Dave Binney: alto saxophone; Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone; John Escreet: piano, Fender Rhodes; Matt Brewer: acoustic and electric bass.

Record Label: CAM Jazz

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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