Angelica Sanchez Trio - Float the Edge

Angelica Sanchez: piano; Michael Formanek: bass; Tyshawn Sorey: drums.

As a natural sound explorer, avant-garde jazz pianist Angelica Sanchez couldn’t have found a better company for her intents than bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tyshawn Sorey, two passionate and constantly in-demand adventurers from different generations that form a powerful and pliable foundation.

Float the Edge comprises only originals and was released on Clean Feed Records, a label that has been serving as recipient for the pianist’s latest artistic creations.

Shapishico”, a mythical creature of the Amazonian jungle, is painted here with fine strokes of modernity instead of any ominous or mysterious sound portraiture. Tension and delicacy coexist in Sanchez’s ruminative prowls, triggering instinctive reactions in her associates, who swing along with plenty of freedom. It’s a gripping opening at the minimum.

In the title track, Sanchez scatters harmonics and knotty phrases over the dense texture weaved by Formanek’s buzzing arco and Sorey’s unflinching percussive craftsmanship.

The lucid “Hypnagogia” tries to step on the threshold of consciousness by setting up a watchful scenario composed of intriguing piano voicings, gliding bass gravitations, and elongate sounds of brushed cymbals to maintain us alert.

What the Birds Tell Me” boasts a solo piano intro that’s simultaneously dreamy, mystifying, and contemplative in its conception. This floating ambiance is maintained, even after Formanek and Sorey add some more textural layers.

Inspired by the 1979 science fiction novel Shikasta by Doris Lessing, “Sowf (Substance of We Feeling)” is an elastic piece whose bass intro lands on a simple-yet-effective groove that is immediately enhanced by Sorey’s brilliant brushwork. With Sanchez’s brisk lines, the tune acquires a steaming pulse that doesn’t last too long. Step by step, the trio seamlessly changes direction, anchoring this time in a swinging groove that materializes with a fun boppish feel and rhythmic figures atop.

Moved by audacity and colored by a wise sense of action-reaction, “The Traveler” and “Black Flutter” flourish with extemporaneous interactions full of energy and inventiveness. The former seems an acerbic variation of “Caravan”, inviting us to a blind dance of pure astonishment; the latter, closes the album resorting to Coltrane’s epic tones.

Float the Edge spills thrills, overflowing with a spectral expressionism that is more enchanting than rebellious.
This music is filled with beautiful moments of clarity and open-ended dialogue. Listeners with avid ears will want to keep an eye on the following moves of Angelica Sanchez Trio.

Label: Clean Feed, 2017
Favorite Tracks:
04 – Sowf ► 07 – The Traveler ► 08 – Black Flutter