Press quotes and review excerpts
-- Nate Chinen, www.nytimes.com, December 2008
“Life Between” (Clean Feed), by the pianist Angelica Sanchez, might seem at first like a Tim Berne project by proxy, given that its supporting players have some history him. What sets it apart is Ms. Sanchez’s instinct as a composer, which favors a more harmonious brand of abstraction. On “Name Dreamer,” she has the bassist Drew Gress and the drummer Tom Rainey drop anchor with a creeping vamp, while the others — Tony Malaby, on tenor saxophone and Marc Ducret on guitar — swirl above the surface.
-- David Adler/ALL ABOUT JAZZ, January 2003
There’s a certain excitement when digging into an excellent debut effort like pianist Angelica Sanchez’s Mirror Me. It’s an album filled with the kind of promise and sanguinity you’d expect. Most importantly, she doesn’t sound like anyone else in particular. Sanchez works in the avant-garde realm, but she doesn’t have the percussiveness of Cecil Taylor, or the heightened classical influence of Matthew Shipp. Eschewing a youngster’s need to dazzle, Sanchez is subtle, tossing out gnarled chords, open almost elliptical phrasing, simple folk music-like melodies, and taunt mid-speed solos. She’s well supported by the stellar line-up of saxophone-playing husband Tony Malaby, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tom Rainey.
-- CMJ/ Tad Hendrickson
Full of satisfying and stimulating surprises, Angelica Sanchez's music affords a refreshing new take on creative improvisation. In her hands and those of her skilled collaborators, this thoughtful and playfully inquisitive set presents adventurous music in which we can "see" some of our own selves. Newcomer Sanchez combines the fluidity and drive of "classic" Paul Bley and John Taylor with the adventurous storytelling color of Cecil Taylor. Her compositions tell engaging stories spurred on by her own ear-tingling playing and the egoless interaction of her top-flight NY improvisors quartet including tenor powerhouse Tony Malaby, bassist Michael Formanek, and drummer Tom Rainey. This may be one of the most important jazz piano debuts in years.
Jazz Review.com - Mirror Me review It’s an interesting disc which is both traditional and forward thinking at the same time. All of the musicians involved pay tribute to those who have influenced them in the best way possible – by taking original music in a new direction. --Jazzreview.com/ Tim Niland
Sanchez’s piano playing is marked by its fluidity. She plays with tremendous ease and emotional involvement. It’s a refreshing thought that the male-dominated jazz world does have some bright female members with nowhere to go but up.
-- The Boston Tech/Jeremy Baskin
Sanchez is involved with free jazz that has structure, if that isn't too much of a contradiction; it has a loose, cantankerous energy, but it's given shape by some smart writing. --The New York Times
She's brought a big imagination with her from the Southwest, and the open-ended approach of her pianistics accounts for the sprawling terrain around which she grew up.
-- Jim Macnie
There's something literally unique about her piano lingo. It's defined by an attempt to throw a lasso around a massive piece of keyboard history. And when it's at its most eloquent, you'll be impressed. --The Village Voice
Her style encompasses the harmonic delicacy of a Herbie Hancock with the occasional flashes of the percussive attack of a Cecil Taylor. The 28-year-old Arizona native is definitely one to watch.
-- Steve Feeney, Portland Press Herald
Angelica Sanchez Quartet With Tony Malaby on tenor and soprano, Drew Gress on bass, and Tom Rainey on drums. A seemingly quiet person, Sanchez would calmly count off a tune, begin with a plaintive but edgy unison melody over a clear tempo, and then ascend the rungs toward free-blowing intensity, always with a cohesive purpose and a precise ending in mind. Her line playing was highly advanced and forceful, and her Wurlitzer gave the adventurous, outward-leaning music a kind of cool sheen, balencing the full-throttle attack of Malaby's horn. Gress and Rainey grasped Sanchez's intent with a proficiency that inspired awe.