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CD REVIEW: MARTA SANCHEZ, PERPETUAL VOID

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    Posted: 25 Apr 2024 at 8:51am
Marta Sanchez’s latest album, “Perpetual Void,” marks a significant milestone in her career as a pianist and composer. Following the success of her 2022 release, “SAAM (Spanish American Art Museum),” Sanchez ventures into new territory with her first trio album and debut on Intakt Records. As a seasoned member of the David Murray Quartet, “Perpetual Void” stands as Sanchez’s fifth album as a bandleader, showcasing her growth and versatility as an artist.

The album’s genesis lies in Sanchez’s personal journey through a dark and challenging period, during which she grappled with existential questions about life and time. Despite the turmoil, “Perpetual Void” emerges as a testament to resilience and self-discovery. In the press release accompanying the album, Sanchez explained her decision to embrace the trio format stems from a desire to allow her to focus more on her playing than as a composer. In my opinion this has resulted in a captivating showcase of her pianistic prowess however one must not ignore the compositional aspect as this would be doing a disservice to the vision as a whole. Featuring 11 original compositions and strong, almost empathic performances, from bassist Christopher Tordini and drummer Savannah Harris, this set sees Sanchez navigating a set of intricate and deeply personal compositions that delve into themes of love, loss, and transformation.

The albums liner notes, written by Lauren du Graf, aptly capture Sanchez’s distinctive voice, describing in some detail her vision with this recording and add an extra dimension  the music. Throughout the album, Tordini and Harris complement Sanchez’s playing with eloquent solos and sensitive ensemble work, contributing to the album’s rich sonic tapestry.

The album opens with a captivating sense of urgency, drawing listeners into a sonic landscape characterized by intricate harmonies and rhythmic complexity. It’s clear that the music encompassed on the this album delves into Sanchez’s personal experiences, evoking a raw emotional intensity reminiscent of a psychological thriller. Tracks like the title piece, “Perpetual Void,” and “Black Cyclone” exemplify Sanchez’s compositional complexity, featuring dynamic contrasts and shifting rhythmic textures. The album’s titles, including “I Don’t Want to Live the Wrong Life and Then Die” and “The Absence of the People You Long For,” reflect Sanchez’s introspective musings on life and love, adding depth and emotional resonance to the music.

Looking at the compositions, Sanchez demonstrates her mastery over instability, crafting compositions that challenge traditional meter and structure. Her use of contrapuntal melodies and polyrhythms creates a mesmerizing tapestry of sound, inviting listeners to immerse themselves in the complexities of her musical vision. Drawing inspiration from her multicultural background Sanchez weaves together disparate elements to reveal deeper truths about the human experience.

In addition to the trio compositions, Sanchez presents two solo piano pieces, “Prelude to Grief” and “Prelude to a Heartbreak,” which were improvised in the aftermath of the trio session. These introspective pieces offer a glimpse into Sanchez’s inner world, showcasing her improvisational skills and emotional depth.

“Perpetual Void” also features tracks like “29B” and “The End of That Period,” which embody Sanchez’s experimental spirit and adventurous approach to composition. These pieces explore fragmented rhythms and tonal landscapes, providing moments of introspection and exploration.

Overall, “Perpetual Void” is a testament to Marta Sanchez’s artistic evolution and her ability to translate personal experiences into deeply affecting musical expression. I would go so far as to describe the album as a courageous exploration of absence and longing, offering listeners a profound journey into the depths of the soul. Through her evocative compositions and strong performances, Sanchez transforms the void into a source of beauty and introspection, reminding us of the power of music to illuminate the hidden corners of our existence.

In closing, I can best sum up by saying that “Perpetual Void” is an album where Sanchez invites listeners to join her on a journey of self-discovery and transformation. The trio she has put together for this set proves to be a formidable ensemble, navigating the complexities of her music with grace and sensitivity throughout. With “Perpetual Void” Sanchez continues to push the boundaries of jazz composition with an album that stands as a testament to her creative vision and will no doubt mark a key point in her musical legacy. Highly recommended.

Line-Up:
Marta Sanchez, Piano | Christopher Tordini, Bass | Savannah Harris, Durms.

Track Listing:
1. I Don’t Wanna Live The Wrong Life And Then Die | 2. 3:30 AM | 3. Prelude To Grief | 4. The Absence Of The People You Long For | 5. Perpetual Void | 6. The End Of That Period | 7. Prelude To A Heartbreak | 8. The Love Unable To Give | 9. Black Cyclone | 10. This Is The Last One About You | 11. 29B

Release Date: 19 April 2024
Format: CD | Streaming
Label: Intakt Records

Photos by Larisa Lopez

from https://jazzineurope.mfmmedia.nl

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