Geologically speaking, sands come to Europe courtesy of the howling winds of the Sahara. Bob Sands, however, came to Madrid on a tour with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra in the '80s, and so far has decided not to blow back to the United States. A graduate of both the Eastman School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, Sands combines an academic approach to classical saxophone with the expected seasonings of a lifestyle both European and Latin in nature. His fine big band plays a regular stint at Cafe Berlin, a Madrid venue despite superficial indications to the contrary.
This tenor saxophonist should not be confused with an earlier player, Bobby Sands, whose performing and recording career ended in the '30s. The younger Sands was not even born until the second half of the '60s, his career building through professional relationships with top jazz bandleaders including trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, and drummer Mel Lewis as well as the aforementioned Hampton. Subsequent to his relocation to the land where a "cafe solo" is a black coffee and not a saxophone extemporization in a small venue, Sands' collaborators have included Pedro Iturralde, Albert Bover, Perico Sambeat, and Bernardo Sassetti. Sands is a saxophone teacher in the Madrid public music school system.