Christian Sands – Christmas Stories (ENG review)

Mac Avenue – Available – LP – LP test pressing bundle (selection Signed)
Jazz, Noël
Christian Sands – Christmas Stories (ENG review)

Before I tell you about this particularly fun album, here are some useful details: Christmas Stories is Christian Sands’ fourth album as a leader for Mack Avenue, following Reach (2017), Facing Dragons (2018), and Be Water (2020), which was nominated for a Grammy Award. This celebratory album is a lively blend of cherished memories and new inspirations, intertwining ancient traditions with unexpected surprises. The way Sands weaves elements from the past to create a vibrant new tapestry is evident right from the beginning of Christmas Stories. The album kicks off with one of the most well-worn holiday classics, “Jingle Bells,” transformed into a boisterous blues piece based on the recycled swing of Miles Davis’ “All Blues.”
A lot of words to simply describe the most fun holiday album I’ve ever heard. Indeed, no vocals, just jazz that serves as a pretext for Christian Sands to show us, if it was still necessary, how skillfully he can twist well-known original songs and make them his own with his own ideas. The result is festive, enjoyable, and a true masterpiece of the genre, as the musicians are exceptional, and the joy of listening is real. While we have the usual holiday themes and more, the jazz offerings in each track are of the highest caliber and would surely be endorsed by someone like Wynton Marsalis.
If holiday music is getting on your nerves, here’s an excellent way to enjoy it once more. And if you’re looking for a gift for a jazz enthusiast, rest assured they’ll be thrilled to receive the Christmas Stories – Test Pressing Bundle signed by Christian Sands, which you can find HERE.
The angle at which Christian Sands approaches the various tracks is genuinely amusing, and it’s hard to resist. In fact, this is one of the albums that will grace Bayou Blue Radio this year for the holidays, as we will be playing a track from this album or Dave Koz’s Christmas ballads every 50 minutes. But let’s get back to this album. Of course, the signed version may seem a bit pricey, but Mack Avenue also offers an LP version at a very reasonable price, especially considering the care they put into their albums, which you can find HERE.
CD version, HERE.
Don’t ask me to choose the LP or CD format for you, as you know I love CDs, but the Test Pressing Bundle version is definitely the one that appeals to me the most. In the meantime, it will be a beautiful item to put under the Christmas tree for those who do so, and I encourage you to consider it.
Due to the gift and collector’s aspect of the Test Pressing Bundle version, it’s this version that the editorial teams at Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move are falling for, and we’re giving it the “Essential” status in our collection.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, October 31st 2023