This album finds guitarist Pat Metheny on solid ground. It's a typical post-bop with a vaguely Latin feel. Metheny hooks up with his regular partners, Christian McBride on double bass and Antonio Sanchez on drums. As you'd expect for musicians who have played hundreds of dates together they're very comfortable in each other's company.
Sanchez's experience composing the Birdman score was heavily influential on the cinematic scope of The Meridian Suite, his fifth album as leader on Italian label CAM JAZZ. "The movie is basically one long continuous shot", he explains, referring to the film's illusion of being shot in a single take as it follows Michael Keaton through his Broadway breakdown. "That's also what I wanted to do with this suite; to the listener it should be seamless". The suite takes full advantage of the versatility and wide-ranging palette of Migration, the quartet that Sanchez has led since 2011. Tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake doubles on Electric Wind Instrument (EWI), John Escreet on piano and Fender Rhodes, and Matt Brewer on both acoustic and electric bass. Sanchez also layered keyboard atmospherics onto the album in post-production along with a wide array of guitars from Adam Rogers, while singer Thana Alexa contributes soaring lyrics to the second movement, "Imaginary Lines", and coloristic wordless vocals elsewhere.
In an intimate master-class setting, Antonio Sanchez displays his extraordinary musical skills in the context of challenging songs and incredible solo segments. Performing both on his smaller traditional jazz set, and the larger kit that he uses with the Pat Metheny Group, he presents musical concepts, exercises, and suggestions for developing musicianship that apply to serious drum students of all levels. Playing selections from the Pat Metheny Group, along with compositions by Chick Corea and Antonio himself, Sanchez covers technical, musical, and philosophical points that apply to drummers of all styles. topics include: Practicing, hand technique, motivic development, left-foot clavé, playing stylistically, developing independence, finding your own voice, soloing ideas, odd-meter clavé, recording with Pat Metheny, professionalism, and the importance of having the right attitude. Antonio takes these advanced concepts and clearly explains his personal approach to each.
Antonio Sanchez is one of the most respected drummers working today. Sanchez transcends genre with the ability to literally play and adapt to any situation with virtually any ensemble.Having spent significant time with Gary Burton and roughly 13 years with Pat Metheny, Sanchez establishes his own unique voice as a drummer that while "lyrical" has the innate gift of moving from controlled sonic fury to deceptively subtle nuances that add but another layer of texture to some tunes with complex rhythmic patterns, odd time signatures but never lacking in melody and most importantly groove. While musical comparisons are inherently unfair think early Jack DeJohnette. Aside from the incredible musicianship on display from Sanchez and his top flight ensemble, the diversity in composition gives an organic life and a new dimension to the Sanchez sound most listeners are familiar with from his work with Burton and Metheny.
Drummer Antonio Sanchez's debut recording as a leader is an impressive outing. An alum of both Berklee and the New England Conservatory of Music jazz studies programs, the percussionist has appeared on CDs by Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker, Avishai Cohen and Miguel Zenуn. He leads a core quartet including bassist Scott Colley plus saxophonists Chris Potter and David Sanchez, with Metheny and Chick Corea as special guests on selected tracks.
Quartet Live edits the best bits from a late spring 2007 two-night stay at Yoshi's, Oakland's celebrated jazz club, where many stellar live performances have been recorded. The program benefits from a wide musical selection, including material penned by Carla Bley, Chick Corea, Duke Ellington, and the quartet musicians.