Christian McBride Don Was tribute track whets the appetite with its feelgood vibe

A little slice of perfection heralding the release in a few months from the Christian McBride Big Band album For Jimmy, Wes And Oliver, a homage to Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery and Oliver Nelson. This outrider lead off track isn't a big band track …

Published: 18 May 2020. Updated: 10 days.

A little slice of perfection heralding the release in a few months from the Christian McBride Big Band album For Jimmy, Wes And Oliver, a homage to Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery and Oliver Nelson. This outrider lead off track isn't a big band track however and neither is it a tribute to any of the legends in the title. However it certainly represents the great bassist McBride in seriously sparkling feelgood form alongside Philly pal Joey DeFrancesco on organ, Mark Whitfield on guitar and Quincy Phillips on drums paying tribute to McBride's fellow bassist, the boss of Blue Note records, Don Was. Textbook stuff: check Christian's earthy solo early on as the whole sound becomes batcrazy infectious. Joey D's solo is quite the vaccine further on and it's lift-off from there on. Don Was must be a very happy man getting this jazz gift and a half with his name written all over it in the present tense! To be released by Mack Avenue

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Tags: News

Ode to the Road and the jazz we are miss

Thin pickings so far this year in terms of top jazz vocals albums and now thankfully this. I haven't heard a Dena DeRose album in years worse luck and the singer-pianist does not disappoint here. And yet this record, shaped round a core trio, is …

Published: 17 May 2020. Updated: 16 hours.

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Thin pickings so far this year in terms of top jazz vocals albums and now thankfully this. I haven't heard a Dena DeRose album in years worse luck and the singer-pianist does not disappoint here. And yet this record, shaped round a core trio, is very out of place, it's classic jazz, so American, but does not sit easily in much jazz issued in 2020. Yet some things do not go out of fashion. Hipster, swinging, slightly cynical, worldly wise, a very sophisticated jazz club kind of record and yet all the clubs are shut. The irony suits.

Any album that includes a version of Fran Landesman and Bob Dorough's 'Small Day Tomorrow' and lands in Mark Murphy territory which is does on the title track has a lot going for it. Guests include Jeremy Pelt in a more mainstream guise than you usually find him; it doesn't matter, he hits the bull's eye yet again even when he is playing more like Sweets Edison which he does a bit here. Out on HighNote soon. Hearing this makes me wants to be in a jazz club immediately. Is that so wrong?

Dena DeRose, top. Photo: press shot.