David Sánchez's performance on the evening of Friday, 4 December, was the best I have seen for a long time. He appeared with his usual three sidekicks, the same three that appear with him in the videos posted earlier of his performance of Cultural Survival with the exception of the drummer. We had seats in Row 2 and were nearly on top of them. Small combo jazz performances are best seen close up, I think. That is the reason it works best in small clubs. It is a music that does not make quite the impression when one partakes from Row 30 in a large auditorium.
It is difficult for me to describe music. On the one hand, a tip of my hat to the great music columnists of magazine and newspapers, particular the folks who write for Rolling Stone Magazine. On the other hand, does one really get any true feel for an artist's music by simply reading about it?
All I can tell you is that David Sánchez is capable of producing a wide range of different sounds with his saxophone, all beautiful. It is hard core jazz, verging on the avant garde. The performance was a little over an hour and a half long and consisted of four of David Sánchez's compositions. The final piece was Cultural Survival. One can easily get lost in this music while listening. Latin Grammy Award winner in 2005 for best instrumental album.
And his sidekicks. What a crew! Orlando le Fleming on bass from Birmingham, England. I love great bass players indiscriminately. This guy is now near the top of my list.
Lage Lund from Norway on guitar. He accompanies David very subtly most of the time, but when his solo comes, one ought to sit up and pay attention.
Lastly, Antonio Sánchez from México City on drums is in a class all his own in my humble opinion. His resumé is a mile long. He has won three Grammy Awards. Drum solos usually bore me. However, this guy's drum solo was like none I have ever heard before. I know I am capable of an over reliance on hyperbole and sometimes cannot be trusted as a result. I am just tellin' you though that if you ever get a chance to see this guy play the drums, you must—you must—go and see him.
One of the treats of the evening came about when we stayed for a time after the performance and had the opportunity to chat up Antonio Sánchez and Orlando le Fleming. What nice, nice guys. Really cool individuals.
After David Sanchez's performance, Lorraine, La Mexicana, and I went to Benjamin's for a little late night ranchero music.
Benjamin is a delight. He intersperses his tunes with a lot of give and take with the audience, and the maître d' of the place is his straight man. They are a comedy team in fact. A great sing along place.