Christian McBride – New Jam (2 Red LPs)

Mack Avenue – Available

Here is what I was saying about the album “New Jam” on February 16, 2023: “Once again, we must thank our friend Casey Conroy at Mack Avenue for sending us this fantastic album, which is both a treasure trove of reinterpretations of some artists (Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, and Larry Young) and original compositions.
Of course, if we are familiar with the themes of these covers, the magic worked as usual by Christian McBride’s extreme intelligence and delicacy is reinforced by equally fantastic musicians: JOSH EVANS on trumpet, MARCUS STRICKLAND on tenor sax and bass clarinet, and NASHEET WAITS on drums.
When we talk about “original compositions” at this level, we should expect some beautiful surprises, and here is what Christian McBride says:
“I wanted to do something that was the opposite of those groups and approach it from a completely different angle. I thought it was time to do something where I was the only person playing harmony. It forces me to think a little more when I can’t rely on a stringed instrument. I have to be a little more on guard with the New Jawn – and I love that.”
Just in this statement, we have the entire working base on which the musicians have built, which requires extreme attention, vitality, and dexterity that only the greatest musicians can possess. From the excitement of the first measures, we end up fully appreciating all the work on the track “Moonchild.”
Waits contributed the atmospheric “Moonchild,” a lunar reflection on his own childhood in Greenwich Village, which depicts the young drummer looking out the window and dreaming of the future.
“The New Jawn has become a real band, and we’ve gotten used to each other’s tastes and the way we move,” says Waits. “Christian is unlike any other bass player I’ve worked with in the sense that he’s so melodic and deft in the way he handles the bass. He can play the melodic lines while holding down the bass part, which allows the rhythm section to have more responsibility and more freedom at the same time.”
Christian’s secret of creation revealed:
“We all collectively know a lot of music,” McBride says, “So we go through the Rolodex in our heads and start throwing out songs.”
Each album by Christian McBride is a masterpiece of contemporary jazz, knowing how to anchor itself in a certain formalism and heightened modernity at the same time. This is what fascinates the editorial teams at Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move to the point of thoughtlessly sticking the “essential” sticker on it, knowing how little it is for such a great artist

I will not remove a single word from this review. The LP version we received contains two red LPs, which doesn’t change anything about the product’s quality; on the contrary, since this album is entirely acoustic, a certain warmth sets in from the first listen, enhancing the overall appreciation. This suits perfectly with Christian McBride’s double bass. Once again, we appreciate the exceptional quality of mastering for the LPs. Mack Avenue is likely the company that excels in this field, taking special care with each album, whether it’s for CDs or LPs.

Here again, having a large album cover allows us to appreciate all the details, and in the end, one wonders if Mack Avenue could not offer LP and CD versions for sale as a single package. For music enthusiasts, this would be a significant added value, as brands like Denon, Marantz, and all the major Hi-Fi brands always offer new versions of CD players or turntables, which often grace living rooms…

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

PARIS-MOVE, August 21st 2023


To buy this 2LP album 

Christian McBride’s website