Grego Applegate Edwards.

We have an interesting piano trio date up today. Pianist Nick Sanders and his trio give us the new CD “You Are A Creature” (Sunnyside 1389). The music stands out for the quirky and appealing off-center nature of Sander’s originals, which have a sort of post-Monk, post-Herbie Nichols angularity and unpredictableness. Perhaps there is also a hint of early Carla Bley to be heard, but very much as filtered by Sanders’ own sensibilities.

This is music with a very personal, original stance. Along with Ornette’s “The Blessing” we get 12 Sanders compositional inventions. The trio of Sanders, Henry Fraser on bass and Connor Baker on drums run through the numbers with both a tightness and a free looseness, everybody contributing to the end result in cohesive interactive ways.

It is one of those sets that keeps on sounding better the more you listen. The improvisations are very much integrated into the compositional structures so that they all have a through-composed feel that is not lacking in spontaneity and in-the-present presence.

Nick’s piano style is brittle and almost playful. It is refreshing and very contemporary without quite sounding like anybody else out there. The trio does an excellent job realizing the music.

Sanders is doing something very musical and very involved. I am very glad to hear this one and will no doubt listen frequently. You should check it out. It’s very good music!