Christian Sands – Christmas Stories (ENG review)

Mac Avenue – Available – LP – LP test pressing bundle (selection Signed)

Before I tell you about this particularly fun album, here are some useful details: Christmas Stories is Christian Sands’ fourth album as a leader for Mack Avenue, following Reach (2017), Facing Dragons (2018), and Be Water (2020), which was nominated for a Grammy Award. This celebratory album is a lively blend of cherished memories and new inspirations, intertwining ancient traditions with unexpected surprises. The way Sands weaves elements from the past to create a vibrant new tapestry is evident right from the beginning of Christmas Stories. The album kicks off with one of the most well-worn holiday classics, “Jingle Bells,” transformed into a boisterous blues piece based on the recycled swing of Miles Davis’ “All Blues.”
A lot of words to simply describe the most fun holiday album I’ve ever heard. Indeed, no vocals, just jazz that serves as a pretext for Christian Sands to show us, if it was still necessary, how skillfully he can twist well-known original songs and make them his own with his own ideas. The result is festive, enjoyable, and a true masterpiece of the genre, as the musicians are exceptional, and the joy of listening is real. While we have the usual holiday themes and more, the jazz offerings in each track are of the highest caliber and would surely be endorsed by someone like Wynton Marsalis. Continue to read, here!