Christian McBride's New Jawn, Prime, Mack Avenue/Brother Mister ****(*)

A mind blowingly virtuosic blend of sax and trumpet with Marcus Strickland and Josh Evans respectively as a team within a team - bass don Christian McBride and drummer Nasheet Waits operating in a self sealed dug out beneath them like coaches of a …

Published: 15 Feb 2023. Updated: 12 months.

A mind blowingly virtuosic blend of sax and trumpet with Marcus Strickland and Josh Evans respectively as a team within a team - bass don Christian McBride and drummer Nasheet Waits operating in a self sealed dug out beneath them like coaches of a football team who then decide to ditch the headsets and instead jump on to the pitch because they can.

The New Jawn keep it very tight and so precise soloing. There is very little fat on the bone and an easy visceral edge to all the pieces prevails. Sonny Rollins' 'East Broadway Run Down' from the 1967 released album of the same name that had Newk on the title track with Freddie Hubbard and Trane's bassist and drummer Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones no less on board is a peach of a thing. McBride who has memorably performed with Rollins himself contributes the excitement of a riotous metropolitan night to the piece and the judiciously jagged resonance again of trumpet and sax plus McBride's prodigiously engaging pedal note insistence and energy laden heat underneath before he walks the line with great swagger is manifold. Textbook 21st century hard bop and at no point do you crave a pianist. Out on 24 February

Marcus Strickland, Christian McBride, Josh Evans, Nasheet Waits, photo: Ebru Yildiz

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Eva Novoa, Circles in Blue, 577 ***(*)

TRACK REVIEW: This piano trio recording is a fine introduction to an April release from a pianist we are not at all au fait with, the Barcelona born Eva Novoa. But the bassist Masa Kamaguchi is a more known quantity memorable from a fine Russ …

Published: 14 Feb 2023. Updated: 12 months.

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TRACK REVIEW:

This piano trio recording is a fine introduction to an April release from a pianist we are not at all au fait with, the Barcelona born Eva Novoa. But the bassist Masa Kamaguchi is a more known quantity memorable from a fine Russ Lossing album back oh five years ago and an earlier Samuel Blaser epic. The drummer Gerald Cleaver here is best known to us given we have heard the Detroiter live a few times over the years (with such contrasting figures as Benny Golson and Lotte Anker) and he is excellent on one of this year's best releases No Subject as part of East Axis. So much for the introductions. 'Circles in Blue' is over 7 and a half minutes long but seems much briefer. There is a lot of scene setting, big intervallic chordal work from the pianist, shuddering bass etc and then we are into another section of the piece. When we get to more crunching heavily accented chordal work it's at its best and this is where Cleaver and Kamaguchi respond most. Early on there's no real beat or strict rhythm but later that changes and you get a multi-directional sense like the way Andrew Cyrille plays sometimes. Novoa ventures a little towards the freer side of Masabumi Kikuchi early on in the track. Painterly, yes, abstract and highly aesthetic pervasively - and certainly you get the feeling of being in the moment. If you are into Kris Davis you will probably also be in your element discovering these special sounds that augur well for the shape of more jazz from Novoa and co on the album to come. Eva Novoa, photo: press