Nick Sanders rides keyboard home to New Orleans with new CD, rave reviews.

By: Chris Waddington

Nick Sanders, the New Orleans keyboard whiz, has plenty to celebrate at the CD-release party set for March 27 at Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchmen St. “You Are a Creature,” Sanders’ second disc for the prestigious Sunnyside label, has been piling up rave reviews.

In February, Downbeat magazine added Sanders’ new trio recording to its list of “Editors’ Picks,” telling readers to “expect big things from this young trio.” Downbeat strengthened its endorsement by putting Sanders on the same list with brilliant veterans such as Eddie HendersonKenny Wheeler and Rudresh Mahanthappa. also enthused: “The second album from the Nick Sanders Trio is quirky yet beautiful, esoteric yet accessible, and unhinged yet totally organized.”

Sanders’ debut CD, “Nameless Neighbors,” had already landed on a | The Times-Picayune list of “Top ten jazz albums of 2013.”

That kind of national notice has helped Sanders maintain a regular working band –a rare thing for a young improviser based New York. Sanders’ group, which includes bassist Henry Fraser and drummer Connor Baker, will travel to New Orleans for the March 27 CD release event at Snug Harbor.

Sanders and his partners excelled at that Frenchmen Street listening room in July 2013. In a review of the gig, |The Times-Picayune called the trio “a true, three-way partnership: one in which the solos occur simultaneously, with every player at the service of the music — and the moment.”

Sanders and company also know what to do on a big stage. In 2014, for example, the pianist made waves at New Orleans Jazz Fest, where he proved “incapable of a hackneyed gesture or a squandered phrase.”