Christian Sands

June 21
7 p.m.

Pianist Christian Sands, still flying a bit under the radar at age 27, appears poised to grab the spotlight with his fine new album, Reach. A protégée of Dr. Billy Taylor, Sands has had notable stints with Los Hombres Calientes, Bobby Sanabria’s Afro-Cuban band, and bassist Christian McBride, who co-produced Reach. Sands leads his core trio (bassist Yasushi Nakamura, drummer Marcus Baylor—replaced on tour by Jerome Jennings) through an eclectic set of striking originals and two curious covers. Bill Withers’ “Use Me” gets a melting-blues treatment, featuring a dazzling guitar sprint from guest Gilad Hekselman and a Sands gospel-bop reverie, and the trio reimagines the Linda Ronstadt-James Ingram duet “Somewhere Out There” as a melodically rich but restless jazz ballad. Sands’ tributes to Chick Corea and Bud Powell sport intricate twists, and though the funk/hip-hop groove of “Gangstalude” is rather generic, its floating piano-guitar revelations are pure bliss, as is the sizzling Afro-Cuban workout “¡Óyeme!”