Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Christian Sands: Facing Dragons

Mike Jurkovic By

Sign in to view read count
Save for a busy, perhaps too restrained take on The Beatles' "Yesterday" and the predictable South American rhythm driven "Sangueo Soul," Facing Dragons is pianist Christian Sands third powerhouse release in a shade over two years.

Crisply performed by his core trio, bassist Yasushi Nakamura and the untiring Jerome Jennings on drums, Facing Dragons may not explode out at you like last year's Reach, his debut as a leader, or the concussive live energy that spilled over onto the EP Reach Further, but it certainly ups the ante and gives plenty of fuel to those who argue that Sands is the leading pianist of his generation.

Mentored by Dr. Billy Taylor as a teen and recently named creative ambassador to The Erroll Garner Project, Sands, unbridled by the past and hugely aware of all the music around him, brings it all. Colored with clusters of block chords and a bright melody, "Rebel Music," the dynamic and nimble opener, finds the trio locked in synch and quickly setting the tone. Over a tumbling churn, saxophonist Marcus Strickland's deep tone holds front and center until trumpeter Keyon Harold joins the conversation. "Sunday Mornings" features an organic duet with guitarist Caio Afune and a gospel to reggae slide beat that's just exquisite to hear. Jennings is integral here, carrying the tune with a broad, bouncing strut.

"Her Song" is a lyrical, floating dialog between pianist and guitarist, yet Nakamura's resonant suppleness is the central key to the whole affair. "Frankenstein" with its shifts and subtleties may very well call to mind Chick Corea or Herbie Hancock, but there is no imitation going on here. To close the disc, Sands wanders his on Fender Rhodes for the spacey "Rhodes To Mediation" that some might find indulgent, but the recommendation is to just float along with it.

Track Listing: Rebel Music; Fight For Freedom; Yesterday; Sangueo Soul; Sunday Mornings; Frankenstein; Her Song; Samba De Vela; Rhodes To Meditation.

Personnel: Christian Sands: piano, Fender Rhodes; Caio Afune: guitar; Keyon Harrold: trumpet; Jerome Jennings: drums; Yasushi Nakamura: bass; Roberto Quintero, Cristian Rivera: percussion; Marcus Strickland: saxophone.

Title: Facing Dragons | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Mack Avenue Records



comments powered by Disqus

Year in Review
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Reach Further

Reach Further

Mack Avenue Records

Facing Dragons

Facing Dragons

Mack Avenue Records



Mack Avenue Records


Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour, Featuring Cécile...
Berklee Performance Center
Boston, MA
Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
Troy, NY
Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour Featuring Cécile...
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Philadelphia, PA
Monterey Jazz Festival
Verizon Hall
Philadelphia, PA
Monterey Jazz Fesival On Tour Starring Cécile...
Mesa Arts Center
Mesa, AZ
Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour With Cécile Mclorin...
Michigan Theater
Ann Arbor, MI
Christian Sands
The Baltimore Museum Of Art
Baltimore, MD


Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Barriers Album Reviews
By Karl Ackermann
February 16, 2019
Read Fractal Guitar Album Reviews
Fractal Guitar
By John Kelman
February 16, 2019
Read The Early Bird Gets Album Reviews
The Early Bird Gets
By Mark Corroto
February 16, 2019
Read The Newest Sound You Never Heard Album Reviews
The Newest Sound You Never Heard
By Jerome Wilson
February 16, 2019
Read Think Big: Like Me Album Reviews
Think Big: Like Me
By Paul Naser
February 16, 2019
Read Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII Album Reviews
Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII
By Karl Ackermann
February 15, 2019
Read Free Fall Album Reviews
Free Fall
By Peter Hoetjes
February 15, 2019