His recently released album New Life has been garnering glowing reviews, especially for its title track, a 14-minute exploration of drums, horns, piano, and voice. [2:23]
Antonio Sanchez: I didn't start writing it and I thought it was going to become this huge piece. I thought it was going to be a nice, kind of ballady piece that maybe would last, I don't know, maybe five, six minutes.
But then as it went by, and I started writing more and more material, I kept thinking, okay, let me try to keep going a little more, because this is the thing with jazz, you can write a tune that is 16 bars long, and then you start soloing over those 16 bars long, and you can do that for 20 minutes, but the written material is basically 16 bars. So in this record, my goal was to just push myself as a composer. My first two records were more the other kind of writing, which is very short tunes, and then we just improvise the hell out of the form. But on this one, I just wanted to see how far I could take it, you know, with the writing. And "New Life" was basically the epitome of that. You know, I started writing, okay, let me keep going a little more and then add another theme, and then do this other thing, and then maybe add this completely new section that had nothing to do with the beginning, and then how am I going to get back to that section. So I just started challenging myself, and that track, "New Life," was the result of that.