After almost a 10-year absence from the New York music scene, the saxophonist David Sanchez appeared at the Jazz Standard, where he celebrated the release of CARIB (Ropeadope/Stretch Music).
Carib is a continuation of the river that began with The Departure (1994) and Melaza (2000), where Sanchez drew primarily from Puerto Rico’s folkloric music (Bomba and Plena). Carib features compositions inspired by the music of Puerto Rico and Haiti, who share striking similarities. Also, it pays tribute to the Afro-descendant communities that shaped Sanchez’s music. Also, his father Dimas, who transitioned last year and his wife, Karla, who insisted that he visit Haiti and experience the music and the culture first-hand. “I feel like this recording wouldn’t have been possible without her wisdom, sensibility, and love,” wrote David in the album’s liner notes.
Sanchez shared the stage pianist, Ed Simon (who sat in for Luis Perdomo), guitarist Lage Lund, bassist Ricky Rodriquez, drummer Obed Calvaire, Puerto Rican drummer Jhan Lee Aponte and the Haitian percussionist Markus Schwartz, who executed the material and Sanchez’s vision beautifully.
Tunes such as Canto, Fernando’s Theme, were heartwrenching laments. In contrast, Madrigal and Land of the Hills were festive and celebratory.
Sanchez is known for his muscular sound, but this evening, he demonstrated maturity and sweetness I’ve not seen before. Also, he has grown exponentially as a composer.
The performance at the Jazz Standard was impressive. Also, it marked a comeback of sorts, a triumphant return to the city where Sanchez worked, lived, and earned his “bones” back in the day. On a bigger scale, Carib represents triumph over loss and the courage to press on and continue creating, no matter the circumstances.
Carib is the first in a series of recordings that aims to explore, unify, and pay homage to the Afro-descendant musical traditions throughout the Americas.