Grammy Award-winning pianist Billy Childs has released his new album, Acceptance.
Childs reunites with the band who played on his 2017 LP Rebirth, namely saxophonist Steve Wilson, bassist Hans Glawischnig, drummer Eric Harland alongside vocalists Alicia Olatuja, Aubrey Johnson and Sara Gazarek. Given the seemingly endless list of musicians Childs has performed with throughout the years, it’s apparent that the pianist has found his ideal line-up.
“The first time I played with Steve [Wilson] was with Buster Williams in Japan around 1995,” Childs recounted in a recent interview with Jazz Times. “I didn’t even like alto sax until I started playing with him. I had been playing with a lot of smooth-jazz alto players and I just didn’t like the screaming and so forth. I started playing with him and I was like, ‘Wow. I love alto sax.’
“I had a gig at the Jazz Standard maybe eight or nine years ago. The first guys I called [for it] were Eric, Hans, and Steve, and they all said, yes. We played that week at the Standard and it was one of the best weeks I ever played there. I thought, ‘I have to record an album with these guys.’”
From there, as they say, the rest was history. Rebirth saw Childs return to ’70s hard-bop jazz, winning his fifth Grammy Award along the way. Acceptance is a surefooted extension of that sound, leaning into the band’s increasing familiarity to mark another milestone in Childs’ sizeable discography.
Listen to Acceptance below: