PREVIEW GLASGOW JAZZ FESTIVAL
Looking for the feeling
Kenny Mathieson talks with Puerto Rican saxophone sensation David Sanchez.
The contemporary jazz scene is not short of highly-rated young saxophonists. but even in a crowded field. David Sanchez is emerging as something a little special. He is one of two Caribbean musicians visiting the festival. but while trumpeter Arturo Sandoval has a long tradition of Cuban jazz behind him. Sanchez hails from the smaller and rather less jazz- orientated island of Puerto Rico.
‘lt‘s a fairly new thing. There isn‘t really a tradition of playing jazz in Pueno Rico — well. in a way no. but maybe also in a way yes. because there have been some players like Juan Tizol or Hilton Ruiz or Eddie Gomez who have made a name in jazz. The
difference is that they are Puetto Ricans ?
who basically grew up in the USA. so it‘s a different kind of background. But there is now a younger generation of players there who are starting to take up the music.’
Sanchez's own introduction to jazz came via a couple of records brought home by his sister. a Miles Davis compilation and Billie Holiday‘s Lady In Satin (both. coincidentally. on the Columbia label for which he now records. although he denies there was any sentimental pull when the offers were on the table — it was simply the tnost attractive).
His singing came at a time when Columbia were having one of their periodic bouts ofjazz expansionism (recent releases have included Henry Threadgill’s Carry The Day and Jatnes
Carter's Jurassic Classics alongside the
long-term mainstays of the Marsalis family). and was prompted by the
late Dizzy Gillespie. and he was invited tojoin the United Nation Orchestra in 1990. an experience he will always i value. Dizzy. he says. not only taught him a lot about phrasing and harmony. i but also about ‘attitude — he was i already like 70-something years old. I but he was always looking to learn new “ things to add to his music. and that was ! maybe the most important thing i 5 learned.‘ When the time came to step out from the ranks of the sidemen. he launched ; his recording career with the acclaimed j The Departure in I994. and followed ' that with the recent Sketr'hes ()_/' I Dreams. on which another festival visitor. trumpeter Roy Hargrove. made a guest appearance. ' ‘The second album is more Afro-
mcreasmgl)’ ObVlOUS lmPrCSSJOn he was ; Caribbean-orientated. l was trying to
making on the New York scene. after
mOVing there ‘0 take UP 1‘ SChOJarShiP 3‘ , jazz tradition is there too. Basically.
Rutgers University in l988. His playing came to the notice of the
British jazz, sadly, is all too replete with under-valued artists who, in a civilized world, would be regarded as national treasures. llorma Winstone definitely comes into that category, venerated by those in the know, but hardly even inching toward the household name status. If she ls never going to be chart material, however,
she remains a wonderful lazz singer on
her own terms, and two new releases provide a showcase for both sides of her artistry.
(in Well Kept Secret (liot House), she goes back to her earliest roots on a
3 bring in more of my roots. although the
i they are very close to each other in : rhythmic terms, and the differences lie
1" David Sanchez: young in things like the way you phrase certain things. and in the way you feel the music. So I use the rhythmic background from Latin America and
then hit by bit add other things from the
melodic and harmonic tradition of
Sanchez took up saxophone because he liked the tone and the human vocal
quality of the instrument. and while his
technical command of the horn is superb. he rarely attempts to impress
3 with handfuls of notes or super-fast
romps through the harmonic changes. Instead. he plays with great musicality and attention to mood and feel.
‘Well. sometimes you hear playing
that is really fast and technically ' perfect. but it just doesn't make any
sense. ()n this instrument. it‘s easy to play many notes. I'm telling you. but
it's harder sometimes to play less notes
and get the feeling. that’s basically what it comes down to.‘ Mt‘Ewan 's F ruitmarket. Sat 8. 3pm.
ian Turk from Puerto Rico
unam— Wayne’s world
« - 1' :
Wayne and Wilton: soul survivors it is pretty tnuch impossible to view The Jazz Crusaders as a single entity. but there is no doubt that their brand of soulful. easy on the ears jazz-funk is the particular manifestation of the band which won them the greatest attention. even if they had to drop the ‘Jazz' part of their name (and their music) to do it.
Only trombonist Wayne Henderson and saxman Wilton Felder remain of the original band which came out of their native Texas onto the LA jazz scene in the late 50s. They played acoustic jazz. originally as The Modern Jazz Sextet and then as The Jazz Crusaders. until a gig at the famous Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 opened their eyes to the potential of an electric crossover band.
Joe Sample‘s keyboards became a key part of the new formula. and their smooth amalgamation of a funk backbeat with accessible jazz soloing emerged as one of the signature sounds t-f the 70s jazz-funk era. With typical irony. however. their best known hit. the collalmration with singer Randy Crawford on ‘Street Life'. is also arguably the least representative.
Whether the band still have anything to say to the present generation ofjazz and funk fans remains to be seen. Their recent albums have been well received, though. and their last tour — as Wayne Henderson and The New Crusade — a couple of years back suggested there was still some mileage left yet. (Joe Alexander) tl’lr'lfwart '5‘ Old I’rut'ttttarket. Tue 4. 7.30pm.
a4). a r ’
llorma Winstone: great communicator
set of immaculately performed standards, stamped with her own
distinctive mark. Her voice floats on a
lovely stream from the top-rank American trio, with Jimmy Howles on piano, George Mraz on bass, and Joe La Barbara on drums.
She never forces anything, allowing the tunes to unfold gently and organically, placing the expressive emphasis in just the right spot every time. She can do that without the words, too, as she demonstrates on
the new and much anticipated Azimuth . album, flow was It then . . . never again (ECM), in which she continues to develop the more abstract but no less
expressive style which she first practised with Michael Garrick in the late 60$.
Winstone herself loves to have both elements in her make up, and sees
communication as the central aim of her singing, adding that ‘if you really mean it, then you can really communicate. People ask howl can be serious about singing something like “Tea for Two”, but you have to convince yourself that you are singing a sad song, and if you convince yourself, then you have a chance of convincing others.’
Her partnership with husband John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler in Azimuth continues to reap huge artistic benefits, but her all too rare Scottish appearance at the festival will be in a straighter jazz vein, with the highly- regarded young vibes player Anthony Kerr, whose own recent First Dry(EFl) album with Jacqui Dankworth revealed a sensitive accompanist as well as an impressive soloist. (Kenny Mathleson) City Date Bar, Sun 2, 10pm.
The List 30 Jun-l3 Jul 199517