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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

The Departure

David Sanchez

Columbia 508618 2



  1. Ebony
  2. Woodyn’You
  3. Interlude No1
  4. You Got It Diz
  5. Santander
  6. I’ll Be Around
  7. The Departure
  8. Nina’s Mood
  9. Cara De Payaso
  10. Interlude No2
  11. CJ
  12. Postlude

David Sanchez - Sop & Tenor
Danilo Perez – Piano
Peter Washington – Bass
Leon Parker – Drums
Tom Harrell – Trumpet 1,5,8
Plus various additional percussion

This re-issue of Dave Sanchez’s 1994 album is very welcome and good value. It was in fact his debut album as a leader, but he did not record it until he had gained valuable experience playing with the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath and Benny Golsen. To work with men of that calibre, you have to be very good and Sanchez proved to his leaders and their audiences, that he is very good.

The album also benefits from the presence of another rapidly rising star, pianist Danilo Perez, another veteran of Diz’s United Nations Orchestra.

Track one, Ebony a Sanchez composition, finds both the leader and guest trumpeter Tom Harrell in excellent form. Just as Sanchez has included the influences of an earlier generation of jazzmen in his playing, I am sure that in the future he will be an influential player on the musicians of the future. He has all the technique needed and the benefit of a nice warm sound. Woodyn’ You is a Dizzy Gillespie composition from the be-bop era, here it is given new treatment by Sanchez, with a slow first section followed by a quicker section. In Interlude1 Sanchez overdubs tenor and Sop. Two compositions from Danilo Perez follow; You Got It Diz and Santander. Harrell is included in the latter which benefits from some good arranging skills.

I’ll Be Around is taken as a slow ballad and makes a good showpiece for Sanchez’s fine ballad playing. The title track, The Departure, follows using two bass players, one on each channel, I am not sure of the purpose and I don’t think you would know unless someone told you. On this track Sanchez descends to weird noises, I hope that this does not become a regular feature of his performances, he is much to good a player for that!

Nina’s Mood is another composition of the leader and the ensemble if faultlessly played by the Harrell/Sanchez front line, there is real empathy between them. Cara De Payaso is a latter day St Thomas, featuring Sanchez and the rhythm group. And the programme is completed by CJ a tune written by Percy Heath and dedicated to saxophone player Clifford Jordan.

The recording quality and balance on this record are as good as you would expect, but don’t always get from a major label. The combination of Tom Harrell and David Sanchez works extremely well and the rhythm section do everything to assist the front line in producing excellent exciting jazz. I look forward to hearing more, in the same vain.

Don Mather




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