Reviews that mention Angelica Sanchez

July 16, 2020


A Songbirds Temple
FMR CD 572-0120

Best-known for leading his own bands as well as long-time membership in the Mujician quartet, saxophonist Paul Dunmal has long been in the forefront of British Free Music. At the same time Dunmall, who years ago spent time in a Divine Light Mission ashram while playing in a big band with Alice Coltrane, believes in spiritual understanding through meditation. Sessions such as this one touch on both of his preoccupations. This is especially obvious in track titles such as the one which gives this CD its name, and the concluding “Bhagavathar”, honoring the 19th century mystic and Carnatic music composer. MORE

September 1, 2016

Artist Feature

Angelica Sanchez
By Ken Waxman

Thoroughly grounded in jazz and improvised music, having worked with figures as disparate as trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and percussionist Kevin Norton, pianist Angelica Sanchez still admits a fondness for Latin American folk music and even old time country & western. A Little House, her 2011 solo disc even includes a version of Hank Thompson’s “I’ll Sign My Heart Away”. “I’ve always had a deep love of country music. I love Merle Haggard, and all the old guys,” says Sanchez, 44 “I love the stories they tell and I love the different sounds associated with that music.” This interest isn’t surprising coming from a native of Phoenix. But it also points out the peril of ascribing characteristics to anyone’s sound, based on background. Although Sanchez’s name is Mexican-American, for instance, both she and her parents were born in the US and there’s no trace of that lineage in her composing and playing. “I never visited Mexico as a child,” she reveals “and early recording from my father shaped my musical universe from a young age more than any distant heritage.” MORE

April 7, 2015

Artist Feature

Rob Mazurek
By Ken Waxman

Death, loss and similar topics aren’t usually the subject of jazz performances. But several of Chicago-based cornetist Rob Mazurek’s most recent CDs have dealt with bereavement to some extent. Return the Tides, for instance, recorded with Black Cube SP (BCSP) is what he describes as a “cathartic modern psychedelic spiritual” honoring his mother Kathleen who died in 2013. Similarly Mother Ode recorded on what would have been his mother’s 72nd birthday, uses cornet, bells, implements, incantation and noise to celebrate her lasting influence on Mazurek’s art. Meantime Alternate Moon Cycles is a salute by Mazurek plus an electric trio to one of his mentors, trumpeter Bill Dixon. MORE

March 8, 2014

Angelica Sanchez/Wadada Leo Smith

Twine Forest
Clean Feed CF 287 CD

Irène Schweizer/Pierre Favre

Live in Zürich

Intakt CD 228

Chris Abrahams/Magda Mayas


Relative Pitch RPR 1011

By Ken Waxman

With the piano a mini-orchestra, instrumentalists who partner pianists in a duo must bring prodigious chops as well as lightening quick reflexes to the program. Luckily the talents of each set of improvisers here isn’t in question. But the capacity of the other instrument is crucial in measuring the session’s achievement. MORE

April 21, 2013

Angelica Sanchez Quintet

Wires and Moss
Clean Feed CF 259 CD

Nick Fraser

Towns and Villages

Barnyard Records BR 0330

Arriving in New York from his native Tucson in 1995, Tony Malaby has since made his distinctive tenor and soprano saxophone tones part of that city’s scene, both with his own bands and as a sideman – most notably with bassist Mark Helias’ trio. His high- quality improvisations are featured on both these CDs, although he does have much closer ties to one leader than the other.

That’s because pianist Angelica Sanchez, who also composed Wires and Moss’s half-dozen tracks, is Malaby’s spouse, as well as being a respected jazzer in her own right. Another session reflecting her unique vision, the disc unites the two with a top rhythm section of bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tom Rainey plus French guitarist Marc Ducret. A responsive time-keeper who composed all the titles on his CD, Toronto-based drummer Nick Fraser calls on Malaby’s skills more platonically on Canadian Towns and Villages. The distinctiveness of this CD comes from the juxtaposition of his and the saxman’s instruments with those played by two other Toronto-based musicians. The distinctive timbres of Andrew Downing’s cello and Rob Clutton’s bass are both cleverly worked into the arrangements. MORE

September 25, 2006


Alive in Brooklyn Vol. 2
Sarama Records No #

Atomic Clock
Radio Legs RL 012

By Ken Waxman

What a difference one musician makes. Both these sessions were recorded two months apart in the same Brooklyn club by the same engineer and with two of three players on both discs. So why then does ATOMIC CLOCK tick with barely repressed animation, while ALIVE IN BROOKLYN seems to meander?

However facile the answer may seem, responsibility shouldn’t rest with Angelica Sanchez, who plays electric piano in place of Mark Helias’ bass, featured on the first disc. Sanchez, a fine pianist and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby’s spouse, obviously has a close bond with him. Drummer Tom Rainey, the last member of the trio has played with both husband and wife for years. In truth there’s also some sameness on ATOMIC CLOCK since, except for one track, where Open Loose is joined by Ellery Eskelin, its previous tenor player, there aren’t that many textures that three instruments can wring from a limited sound field. MORE

February 23, 2004


Mirror Me
OmniTone 12203

Songlines SGL SA 1545-2

Commentators often ascribe a certain innate togetherness to the playing of married couples who record together, which in reality is no more than the sort of sympatico feelings band members can express for one another. More critically, husband and wife musicians can and should develop separate musical personalities.

That’s the fascination and interest in MIRROR ME and APPARITIONS. For while Jersey City, N.J. saxophonist Tony Malaby and pianist Angelica Sanchez have been married since 1998 and together for years before that, their albums aren’t that much similar than any two others by a pianist and saxophonist. The tenor and soprano man may play on his better half’s CD, in fact, but the outcome is different. MORE