Last Thursday, on what would have been Erroll Garner's 94th birthday, WBGO held a Yamaha Salon Concert in midtown Manhattan, with a handful of superb pianists paying their respects. Among them was Christian Sands, who offered a solo medley with crystalline touch and bounding stride rhythm.
Then, following a brief exchange with Michael Bourne, he played a buoyant "Night and Day" with the evening's house rhythm team, bassist Ben Allison and drummer Allan Mednard.
Sands, 28, recently released Reach — his first album for the Mack Avenue label, co-produced by bassist, bandleader and Jazz Night in America host Christian McBride. (If you've heard Sands outside his own groups, there's a decent chance it was in the Christian McBride Trio.)
Sands is on tour for much of the summer, playing the official album-release engagement for Reach at the Jazz Standard in New York from July 27-30. He'll also appear on the Newport Jazz Festival on August 4.
For more information about Christian Sands, visit christiansandsjazz.com.
To learn more about Erroll Garner and his archival project, see errollgarner.com.