Marta Sánchez Quintet: Danza Imposible

Marta Sánchez Quintet: Danza Imposible

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Marta Sánchez Quintet: Danza Imposible
Photograph by Larisa Lopez
Glimpses of the personality of Marta Sánchez emerge almost immediately that the music of Danza Imposible begin. Like the mysterious forms of an equally mysterious substance, on the covers of this disc and the one before it, the personality is like glass; super-cooled, transparent and translucent, never impenetrably opaque, yet enigmatically see-through. The notes of her right hand that shape “Copa de luz” Her early melodic excursion light and trinkly, moist and fragile as early morning light redolent of hues filtered through gossamer dust. As the music picks up speed it carries the angular metamorphisms of the saxophones, separated by peremptory bass and drums.

Like much of her music – early and late – Marta Sánchez incorporates stylistic twists and turns that weigh in on folk music of her native Spain, which in turn grew out of Moorish ululations and rhythmic motifs. But while these influences have marked her music in fundamental ways, her inclination seems always to extract the essence of the music and to build something new from this raw material. It shows immediately in “Danza Imposible”, where the spirit is more important than the letter, and the black dots leap off the page flying in phrases caught in incredible pirouettes and leaps. Again the saxophones fawn as they insert declamatory phrases of their own dancing in antipodal twists and turns of their own volition and accord.

You would think that inserting the crowning glory of the album so early in the proceedings would be a faux pas, but if you did you would be dead wrong because what unfolds after “Danza Imposible” are a series of songs – always with saxophones murmuring and yammering, sometimes like a duet of harmoniums – one more tantalising than the next. Veiled melodic faces revealing themselves but only after captivating dances, poetic works full of shimmering and diaphanous textures that recall De Falla and Debussy, but which sometimes also possess a hard-edged precision through the presence of the piano that softens the profound harmonics of the saxophones raging on amidst the rumbling of bass and drums.

There’s a wholly natural feeling to the way the climaxes and sudden changes of direction are so perfectly judged (by piano, saxophones, bass and drums) in these performances – a measure of how well the Marta Sánchez Quintet (ensemble and soloists) know these works. From the perfumed heaviness of “Scillar” to the rapturous piano arabesques of “Nebulosa” (and everywhere else in between) a richly mysterious mood is beautifully sustained by Marta Sánchez, Roman Filiu, Jerome Sabbagh, Rick Rosato and Daniel Dor.

Track list – 1: Copa De Luz; 2: Danza Imposible; 3: Scillar; 4: El Girasol; 5: Board; 6: Nebulosa; 7: Flesh; 8: Junk Food

Personnel – Roman Filiu: alto saxophone; Jerome Sabbagh: tenor saxophone; Marta Sánchez: piano; Rick Rosato: bass; Daniel Dor: drums

Released – 2017
Label – Fresh Sound New Talent
Runtime – 41:32

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