Birdman (Sanchez, Antonio) – “Birdman” – [Milan Records]
I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that the best actor in
Innaritu’s “Birdman” was the drummer, he stole many a scene
(snaring them one might say). Listening to Antonio Sanchez’s
work here reminds me of the old Bernard Purdie release,
although I think Purdie had a little longer to stretch.
The first “Get Ready” piece here cuts off abruptly after
91 seconds and starts informally, likely trying to emphasize
how great Sanchez is off the cuff. “Just Chatting” a mere
37 seconds feels like a whole song, your imagination starts
to bring in horns and a bassline just as it vanishes.
“Strut Part 1” brings back images of sexist cartoon
boom-chicka chicks walking. Other times Sanchez nails a
kind of crime-about-to-happen 70’s cop show feel. He really
made the film crackle and while this CD is not quite as
striking, there’s still plenty here to work with on the
radio. And it all leads up to “The Anxious Battle for
Sanity” which is maybe sliced from “Get Ready” those two
both have a faint underlying string drone that adds to the
edginess. Also it may foreshadow the lyrical, dramatic
classical pieces that close this release. Not sure how
useful these are for our KFJC vibe, but Mahler moves from
flight to staggering self-doubt as well as Keaton did.
#18 leaps like a ballet, #19 (Mahler again with Violeta
Urmana singing) breaks like the dawn. These are pieces that
strike a familiar chord and gave nice weight in the film,
contrasting nicely with the more impulsive percussion
from Sanchez which I prefer.