All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

1

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

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Reach Further

Reach Further

Mack Avenue Records
2018

buy
Facing Dragons

Facing Dragons

Mack Avenue Records
2018

buy
Reach

Reach

Mack Avenue Records
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read Displaced Diaspora CD/LP/Track Review
Displaced Diaspora
by Chris May
Published: October 19, 2018
Read In Real Time CD/LP/Track Review
In Real Time
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Freebird CD/LP/Track Review
Freebird
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2018
Read The Dream Thief CD/LP/Track Review
The Dream Thief
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Heuristics CD/LP/Track Review
Heuristics
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Subtle Disguise CD/LP/Track Review
Subtle Disguise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 18, 2018
Read "Lattice" CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Red Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Red Planet
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 2, 2018
Read "Minus" CD/LP/Track Review Minus
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 12, 2018
Read "Whispers And Cries" CD/LP/Track Review Whispers And Cries
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 1, 2018
Read "Life Of" CD/LP/Track Review Life Of
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 27, 2018