It reassures that all piano-bass-drums trios do not sound like sad clones of The Bad Plus Trio or EST. Evidence: Nick Sanders Trio
Published by the hyperactive New York label Sunnyside and produced by a master of the keyboard, the great Fred Hersch, “You Are A Creature” by the Nick Sanders Trio is a very joyful discovery.
Beginning with the aptly named Let’s Start, one is struck by the sound of the trio, a rare homogeneity between the pianist, his bassist (Henry Fraser) and his drummer (Connor Baker). The three are made for each other, and it gave us reason to listen with rapt attention through the end of the CD (which is rare), which finishes with a cover of “The Blessing,” by Ornette Coleman. Nick and his two accomplices have us walk in the subtle intricacies of jazz avoiding all the cliches, thanks in particular to the leader, who writes compositions that please the ear and are always surprising and even confusing but never broken. Of particular note on this CD are the sound quality, the piano – both authoritarian and light, and also that of the bass, flexible and biting, and the drummer, who is a feline pointillist. Hats off.