angelica sanchez nonet at the greenwich house - NYC, sep 16

  • photography by Clara Pereira / text by Filipe Freitas

The creative pianist/composer Angelica Sanchez brought a nonet to play at the Greenwich House in West Village, New York, as a part of Sound It Out, a program  curated by Bradley Bambarger with focus on contemporary jazz.

As explained to the audience, Ms. Sanchez is going to record soon with this group of relentless explorers/improvisers who are strictly connected to the modern-creative jazz scene.
Its members are Chris Speed on tenor saxophone, Michael Attias on alto saxophone, Thomas Heberer on trumpet, Kirk Knuffke on cornet, Ben Goldberg on clarinet, Omar Tamez on guitar and percussion, John Hébert on double bass, and Sam Ospovat on drums.

The welcoming composition called “Big Weirdo” is a notably orchestrated avant-garde piece that gains a scintillating epic pace after the improvisations of Heberer, whose self-confident dialect got prompt responses from the bandleader, and Attias, who strolled unaccompanied before being joined by Goldberg’s restless clarinet.
The following new tune, which has no title yet, moves in abstract ways, starting with Sanchez hitting the piano strings with a percussion mallet and ending with the inventive guitarist Omar Tamez playing with both electronic and glissando effects.
The assertive Chris Speed was the chosen man to instigate the fresh third tune (the title escaped me), confidently leaping across several octaves with the balmy timbre of his tenor sax. After a little while, a guitar ostinato and a tight bass-drums lilt helped to shape a sort of spiritual utterance. The levels of tension are raised by the inharmonious-yet-never-harsh approaches of Attias and Goldberg.
Ringleader” was the next one, featuring a few agreeable guitar dissonances and an ebullient improvisation by Sanchez, only with the dark timbre of Ospovat's drumming in the background.
A piece from the Chilean composer Armando Carvajal, who wrote it for children, boasted highly percussive passages while the last tune of the night, "Run", sounded like a reverberant anthem, displaying smashing collective improvisations over a rousing swinging rhythm. Kirk Knuffke, a visionary cornetist, showed to possess not just an ample technique, but also melodic balance and a stimulating rhythmic irreverence.

After this performance, we can only anticipate Ms. Sanchez’s upcoming record as a triumph. 
Her strong compositional skills and adventurous arrangements deserve careful attention, and both the musicians and the audience were clearly having fun tonight.