Antonio Sanchez – Lines in the Sand [CamJazz 2018]

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When in 2005 Pat Metheny Group released The Way Up, a monumental almost 70-minutes suite made of 4 tracks crossing so many genres that would be hardly filed only in the jazz label, it became an instant success and a recording appearing in most of the best-of-the-year lists. Summoning one of the best creative and pushing forward moments of the long-living band, it resulted a redefining footstep of how an unexpected epic narrative could be developed by a jazz artist. Looking back at the past, I personally felt like a bridge was made between my jazz and progressive rock listenings: lately I realized this held a clue of how differently this sense of narrativity is embraced by artists belonging to an area and to another. What would have seemed a dismaying mountain to climb for any jazz artist -not to mention the implict risk of jeopardizing any improvisation attitude when navigating such complexes arrays of ostinatos and counterpoints- was instead not frightening for drummer Antonio Sanchez. The fellow member of Pat Metheny Group revived that narrativity and that same momentous articulated style of composition with his Migration band, now hailing another overcomplex recording of extended duration, entitled Lines in the Sand. Yet, what is more striking about this recording, putting a mark of difference between what came before, is the need to tell a contemporary story. The story is happening now, the story is in front of our eyes every day in the news. It’s the story of the immigrants facing desperation on the southern border of US. Antonio Sanchez goes back to that same narrativity as in The Way Up to tell this story.

Annunci