L-O-V-E – 2018
A swinging version of the Nat King Cole hit
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Christian Sands (born in 1989), who began playing piano when he was four, was mentored by Billy Taylor, studied at the Manhattan School of Music, and first gained national attention when he was a member of Christian McBride’s Inside Straight.
He made his first album in 2002 (when he was just 13) and recorded four CDs for the Mack Avenue label during 2017-20.
Sands, who was part of Gregory Porter’s Nat King Cole project in 2017, performs “L-O-V-E” which was Nat King Cole’s last hit, originally recorded in late 1964.
Accompanied by bass and drums, the pianist starts the tune slowly, states the melody with affection, and swings the piece with each chorus building upon the previous one as the momentum gradually builds.
While one thinks of Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson in spots, Sands’ chord voicings and ideas are his own during this quietly exciting performance.