1. Fried Pies
2. Band Introduction
4. Sand Dune
5. The Lady in My Life
7. Good Morning Heartache
8. Down by the Riverside
9. Car Wash
Christian McBride - Bass
Christian Sands - Piano
Ulysses Owens Jr. - Drums
Guy Barker, at the opening concert of this year's London Jazz Festival, reminded us that it is now eighty years since the iconic Village Vanguard in New
York's Greenwich Village first opened its doors. Bassist McBride's trio is the latest in a long line of classy jazz trios and small groups that have
recorded `Live at the Village Vanguard'. Those very words bring a promise of high quality music and this excellent trio certainly delivers.
Sands and Owens may be less well-known than their illustrious boss, but they are by no means overshadowed. On the evidence of this recording, Christian
Sands, who has been mentored by Hank Jones, is clearly one of the most promising young pianists on the New York jazz scene. His remarkable skills are fully
displayed on the first track, a breezy Wes Montgomery tune. McBride plays the first of many outstanding bass solos which have echoes of the great Scott
LaFaro from the iconic Bill Evans trio recordings of fifty years earlier.
one of many catchy tunes written by J.J.Johnson, has a lively exchange between McBride and his excellent drummer, Owens. Sands contributes an attractive
original, Sand Dune, that would not disgrace Wayne Shorter. The Lady in My Life, a song associated with one Michael Jackson, is a funky
ballad that starts quietly and builds compellingly.
Ray Noble might not recognise his big hit tune such is the frenetic pace at which it is played, but it's a pleasurable excuse for a breathtaking display by
Sands and another virtuoso solo by McBride. Then the mood quietens for an arco solo by the leader and an opportunity for Sands to show his reflective side
on Good Morning, Heartache.
The set ends with a rousing version of the old pop hit, Car Wash, with audience participation - not something that Bill Evans would ever have
The Village Vanguard management should be well-pleased with another very entertaining live recording bearing their name.