Christof Sanger performs a solo piano concert at the 1996 Montreal Jazz Festival, sticking mostly to standards and jazz compositions of the '30s through the '50s. Although Sanger obviously has plenty of technique, he often tends to hold back until he is well into a performance. His four-song Duke Ellington medley is inventive at times, but it goes on a little too long and opens the CD in an understated manner. The best part of it is the fresh, abstract approach to "Caravan" rather than trying to rush through the piece as so many pianists have done on record. Likewise, he tackles "Stella by Starlight" and "Body and Soul" in a lush, indirect manner. After a meandering introduction, he finally dives headlong into an inventive romp through the Latin favorite "Tico Tico." His two originals include the playful "Security Blues" and the Mexican-flavored "Condorito." The inauspicious closer is another medley, this time of a trio of Gershwin songs.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden