Christian McBride – New Jam (ENG review)

Due out February 24, 2023 via Brother Mister Productions / Mack Avenue Music Group
Christian McBride – New Jam

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.

Thierry Docmac
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, February 16th 2023


Buy the album here

Christian McBride’s website