Angelica Sanchez/ Wadada Leo Smith: Twine Forest (CF 287)
As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” It certainly does, and it also takes two to make beautiful music together. Pianist Angelica Sanchez and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith produce abundant beauty from Sanchez’ compositions on Twine Forest.
Smith’s recordings have ranged from large ensemble work— Silver Orchestra, Organic, and his electric-Miles Davis tribute band with Henry Kaiser Yo Miles!—to intimate duos with Louis Moholo-Moholo Ancestors (TUM, 2013), Jack DeJohnette America (Tzadik, 2009), Anthony Braxton Organic Resonance (Pi Recordings, 2003), and Ed Blackwell The Blue Mountain’s Sun Drummer (Kabell, 2010).
With Sanchez, Wadada is again exploring the trumpet innovations of Miles Davis by grabbing clumps of Davis’ lyricism from his work with Gil Evans and filtering it through the minimal approach of his late 60’s work.
It has also been said that it takes two wings to fly. Sanchez’ music here, with its block chords and percussive attack, urges Smith to soar. “Retinal Sand” opens with spitting trumpet notes and the piano’s insides exorcised into a drum kit. The trumpet responds with growling notes and eventually a piano/trumpet conversation. Sanchez displays a willful brawn here, battering a blues line on “Echolocation” that evolves into her piano mimicking the sound of a plucked bass.
Sanchez’ technique is a perfect complement to Smith’s vocalized trumpet. Whether he is playing with a muted horn, as on “Veinular Rub,” or with an open bell for “In The Falls Of…,” his articulations are simply conversational. He and Sanchez are involved in an intimate tête- à-tête. Marvin Gaye’s words sum it up the best, “One can wish upon a star/Two can make that wish come true, yeah/One can stand alone in the dark/Two can make the light shine through.”