Christian Sands

Be Water

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Mack Avenue
UPC: 0673203117020
Catnr: MAC 1170
Release date: 26 June 2020
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
Mack Avenue
Catalogue number
MAC 1170
Release date
26 June 2020

"An album which only confirms the qualities of a musician barely thirty years old who already demonstrates a personality to follow."

Jazzhalo, 17-9-2020

About the album

Be Water captures the artist in an expansive compositional mode. Since the release of his debut for the label, Reach, and its follow-up a year later, Facing Dragons, Sands has constantly been on tour inside and especially outside of the States as a leader, as the musical director of the Monterey Jazz Festival on tour and as the creative ambassador for the Erroll Garner Jazz Project. His immersion in the music and the players in these and other ensembles in which he works and the ongoing exposure to the cultures and traditions encountered in his travels have expanded his creative horizons – as would be the case with any true artist.


It can be overwhelming to realize how much water surrounds us, affects us and impacts our lives. It’s an element vital to survival yet can be utterly devastating; it can be placid and beautiful or torrential and violent. It’s ubiquitous – flowing at the turn of a faucet, comprising 70% of our own bodies – yet somehow intangible, able to change form or assume the shape of its surroundings.

On his stunning new album, Be Water, pianist Christian Sands takes inspiration from water’s tranquility and power and muses on the possibilities offered by echoing its fluidity and malleability. Through ten gorgeous and thrilling pieces, Sands alternately conjures the serenity of a sun-dappled lake and the drama of a relentless thunderstorm. Just embarking on his 30s, Sands has already enjoyed a remarkable career trajectory, touring and recording with Christian McBride’s Inside Straight and Trio, as well as collaborating with the likes of Gregory Porter and Ulysses Owens.

The vividly expressionistic recording finds Sands with his core trio of longtime bassist Yasushi Nakamura and drummer Clarence Penn, with brilliant contributions from guitarist Marvin Sewell, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, trumpeter Sean Jones and trombonist Steve Davis. On one piece the ensemble is also supplemented by a string quartet featuring Sara Caswell, Tomoko Akaboshi, Benni von Gutzeit and Eleanor Norton.

Due out July 17th, Be Water is Sands’ fourth release (including a five-track digital-only EP as an extension of his debut album Reach) for Mack Avenue Music Group. The album takes its title from the philosophy of martial arts master and movie star Bruce Lee (by way of screenwriter Stirling Silliphant, who distilled his thoughts for the screen). Lee’s voice appears on both halves of Sands’ title track offering this profound advice: “Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle... Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” (Bruce Lee inspirational quote)



An album which only confirms the qualities of a musician barely thirty years old who already demonstrates a personality to follow.
Jazzhalo, 17-9-2020

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