REACH Christian Sands
- 1Armando's Song05:11
- 2Song of the Rainbow People06:20
- 3Pointing West06:06
- 6Bud's Tune07:13
- 7Reaching for the Sun07:10
- 8Use Me07:27
- 10Somewhere Out There06:52
Info for REACH
With his debut Mack Avenue Records recording, REACH, singularly talented pianist and five-time Grammy® Award nominee Christian Sands is stretching into exciting progressive territory as he breaks new ground traversing from the straight-ahead zone into fresh-sounding music influenced by a range of styles, from Afro-Cuban rhythms to hip-hop beats to dirty blues with an edge. That's impressive for a youngster who is just 27. "The collection here is about reaching new ideas and reaching new music," he says. "I'm reaching from past recordings to bring in the future, which is really all about finding myself. It's a chance to express my experience."
"Pianistic influences seem to include both Bud Powell and Chick Corea, and there is in fact a tribute to the latter on, ‘Armando’s song’, which is a thinly disguised homage to Corea’s very own 1970s opus, ‘Armando’s Rhumba’, but what is interesting here is that the composition is performed by Sands as a straight ahead piano trio number without any hint of Latinization. That said, Sands is interested in how Latin music and jazz interweave and overarches one another and he does explore Latin rhythms and more specifically their connection to Africa on, ‘¡Oyemé!’, which showcases some lovely bass and percussion work.
Elsewhere, bop hues are evident on, ‘Bud’s tune’, this time in reference to the great Bud Powell and this piece is performed by the trio with blues inflections from the leader and some fine polyrhythmic licks from the drummer. An interesting choice of standards emerges on, ‘Use me’, the Bill Withers’ song which is taken here at a relaxed mid-tempo with a jazz-rock tinged guitar solo from Gilad Hekselman, who features on three numbers, and is very much in the vein of John Scofield. The album ends with a ballad, co-written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, ‘Somewhere out there’, that is again a piano trio with great subtlety on bass and the softest of percussion. Christian Sands is a new name with a promising feature and this recording will certainly enhance his growing reputation. ..." (UK Vibe)
Christian Sands, piano
Marcus Baylor, drums
Yasushi Nakamura, bass
Gilad Hekselman, guitar (7-9)
Christian McBride, bass (8)
Cristian Rivera, percussion (5)
Marcus Strickland, tenor saxophone (3, 4), bass clarinet (4)
Steinway Artist and three-time Grammy Nominee — is an emerging jazz force. His abundant piano technique perfectly matches his conception, accomplishing a much deeper musical goal: a fresh look at the entire language of jazz. Christian says, “My music is about teaching the way of jazz and keeping it alive.” Whether it’s stride, swing, bebop, progressive, fusion, Brazilian or Afro-Cuban, Sands develops the past while providing unusual and stimulating vehicles for the present... and for the future. He expresses himself through an extensive vocabulary of patterns, textures and structures, all the while maintaining a strong sense of understatement, sensitivity, taste and swing — hallmarks for as long as he has been playing.
From a very early age, Christian possessed an insatiable appetite for music. He was enrolled in music classes at age 4 and wrote his first composition at age 5. He started playing professionally at the age of 10, and studied at the Neighborhood Music School and the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, CT. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Masters degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. For his participation on the MSM “Kenya Revisited” album, Sands received a Grammy Nominations for Best Latin Piano Solo.
His meteoric rise in the jazz world already includes performances with the legendary Oscar Peterson and Dr. Billy Taylor. He met Dr. Billy Taylor at the Jazz in July program in 2006, and formed an immediate connection. Dr. Taylor dubbed him his protégé, and Christian has followed in his mentor’s footsteps by encouraging, inspiring and advocating for the preservation and history of jazz. He teaches and promotes the passion and richness of jazz to young people as well as to mature audiences. In 2015 he started the Jazz Kids of Montmartre in Copenhagen, Denmark, and he also teaches at Jazz in July, where he is an alumnus.
A deeply rich and soulful feeling can be heard in Christian’s music, characterized by his infectious energy and spirit. It was that same spirit that caught the attention of Grammy award winning bassist, Christian McBride, who asked Sands — then 20 years old — to sit in at the Village Vanguard with his big band, Inside Straight. That appearance led to Sands becoming a member of bassist Christian McBride’s Trio, with whom he has toured throughout the world. Their 2013 CD release, “Out Here,” received a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Album.
Since arriving on the scene, Sands has shared the stage with such jazz luminaries as Wynton Marsalis, Diane Reeves, Shelia E, Warren Wolf, Tia Fuller, Gary Burton, Stefan Harris, Teri Lynne Carrington, Jason Moran, Geri Allen, Ben Williams, Randy Brecker, Steve Johns, Avery Sharpe, James Moody, Bill Evans (sax), Russell Malone, Terrance Blanchard, Louis Hayes, Patti Austin, Marcus Baylor, Craig Handy, Carl Allen, Kirk Whalum, and Wycliffe Gordon.
The power and prowess of his playing has taken him from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to the Newport Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, Gilmore Jazz Festival (Kalamazoo), Clifford Brown Jazz Festival (Delaware), and the Savannah Music Festival; to New York’s celebrated jazz clubs such as the Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, Blue Note and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola; to international jazz clubs in Japan (Blue Note), Germany (A-Train), Russia, Italy, Corsiva, France, Belgium, Denmark and Spain.
Christian provides a soulful melodic touch on S. Epatha Merkerson’s documentary, “Contradictions of Fairhope,” a soundtrack recorded with McBride. Sands was named one of the future rising stars by Wynton Marsalis in Jet Magazine. Vanity Fair’s “Jazz Youth-Quake” also named him as a future jazz star. He was finalist for the 2015 Cole Porter Jazz Fellowship Award sponsored by the America Pianist Association.
An in demand composer and arranger, he appeared on six albums in 2015 as well as releasing two live recordings: Christian McBride Trio “Live at the Vanguard” and his debut recording in Denmark “ Take One” Live at Jazzhus Montmartre Copenhagen with drummer Alex Reil and bassist Thomas Fonnesbaek, which has received national and international rave reviews.
Pianist Christian Sands invents and re-invents himself with sonorities which define each moment, rhythms which impel his music forward, structures which are surprising and fascinating — and never for a moment un-musical. He personifies the rising musicality and spiritual aspirations of a singularly gifted musical soul. “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Christian Sands doesn’t disappoint.
This album contains no booklet.