Saturday, January 25, 2020

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Christian Sands & "Remembering Erroll Garner"

It's been a good winter for St. Louis fans of jazz piano. We've got three top-shelf pianists performing here in as many weeks, starting last night with Matthew Shipp at the 560 Music Center; continuing next week with Aaron Diehl at the same venue; and then Christian Sands, who will be performing a program titled "Remembering Erroll Garner" on Saturday, February 8 at The Sheldon

Erroll Garner was a major star in jazz from the 1940s until his death at age 52 in 1977. He's probably most remembered today as the composer of the standard "Misty," but Garner's distinctive self-taught piano style, which incorporated elements from stride to bebop - effectively bridging the pre- and post-WWII eras of jazz - earned much respect from his contemporaries and still offers plenty to consider and enjoy.

Though Sands, a 31-year-old graduate of Manhattan School of Music who's originally from Connecticut, has played here before with bassist Christian McBride, his upcoming Sheldon performance will be his first here as a bandleader. So today's collection of videos attempts to provide an introductory overview of his playing via a half-dozen relatively recent performances, starting in the first video up above, which includes three tunes that Sands played in October 2018 at Paste Studio in NYC.

After the jump, you can see Sands, bassist Luques Curtis, and drummer and East St. Louis native Terreon Gully doing "My Funny Valentine" in November of last year at Cadogan Hall in London.

The next three videos show Sands performing "Can't Find My Way Home" in October 2019 at the Kahilu Theatre in Honolulu, HI; "Song Of The Rainbow People," recorded in 2018 at the Blue Whale in Los Angeles; and "L-O-V-E" in the studios of radio station WBGO in Newark, NJ.

The final clip features the pianist offering his take on a somewhat unlikely piece of material, the children's song "If You're Happy and You Know It," as recorded in February 2016 at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH.

For more about Christian Sands, read the profile of him published last January in Jazz Times, and his interview with Keyboard magazine from 2017. One complete version of his Erroll Garner tribute show, as performed in June 2018 at Scullers in Boston, can be heard here.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

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