About three years ago, I had the good fortune to be roaming the jazz circuit in Greenwich Village in New York, and I wound up at the Village Vanguard. Christian McBride was being featured all that week with his new trio and he was doing the grueling Friday three-show haul.
The young man on piano in the trio was Christian Sands. I believe he was 19 or some ridiculously young age like that, and I was just blown away by how prodigious a musician he was and how his artistry spanned so many levels. Every theme he introduced blossomed to a full grown movement of emotionally satisfying music! Even in accompaniment, every theme of his became the topic and direction of the rhythm and melodic improvisation. In every way, he set the tone and standard in a band that was led by arguably one of the greatest musicians alive today.
Don’t get me wrong, Christian McBride was no less than jaw-dropping! He was astounding! But he was just trying to keep up with the sheer wizardry of Mr. Sands. We’re going to hear a lot more from this stunning young player.