Few young musicians have enough juice to attract both pianist Chick Corea and guitarist Pat Metheny to their debut release. Drummer Antonio Sanchez shows how with extraordinary artistry combined with exceptional technique on Migration. Saxophonists Chris Potter and David Sanchez can unquestionably blow bop and, along with bassist Scott Colley, they supply the necessary musicianship and creativity that nails this session. Sanchez has been Metheny's drummer of choice for several years and Colley is likewise not new to this rarefied air having extensive ties to guitarist Jim Hall.
While both Corea and Metheny's contributions are Latin-tinged they are texturally dissimilar. Corea's "One for Antonio" is sans saxophones, making for an intimate yet rhythmically exciting piano trio while Metheny's "Arena (Sand)" invites the twin-tenored quartet to partake in a powerful multi-part ballad that develops into a thrillingly-voiced opus. The danger here of course is that these two heavyweights could overshadow the session's core but amazingly don't.
Potter moves between tenor and soprano and uses the latter with Colley's bass to add delicate color to the touchingly original "Ballade." Both saxophonists are individually able to blow up a storm or play in briskly precise tandem on the hard-bopping "Did You Get It?" as well as the modal "Challenge Within." The remaining originals are mixed in with a free-formish take on saxophonist Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge," and Metheny and Sanchez morph Miles' "Solar" into a phenomenal duet for a jaw-dropping closer. Sanchez' drumming is striking throughout, creating deeply textured multi-rhythmic landscapes that give the illusion that he is not alone behind his set.
Track Listing: One for Antonio; Did You Get It?; Arena (Sand); Challenge Within; Ballade; Greedy Silence; Inner Urge; Solar.
Personnel: Antonio Sanchez: drums; Chris Potter: tenor and soprano saxophones; David Sanchez: tenor saxophone; Scott Colley: bass; Pat Metheny: guitar (3, 8); Chick Corea: piano (1).
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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