John D'earth, Coin of the Realm, Cosmology ****

When something really connects a journey begins. So digging deep having liked this latest album a whole deal embark with us on a trip way, way back as listeners together searching for more. John D'earth is on some albums with cult, deeply …

Published: 15 Feb 2023. Updated: 15 months.

When something really connects a journey begins. So digging deep having liked this latest album a whole deal embark with us on a trip way, way back as listeners together searching for more.

John D'earth is on some albums with cult, deeply revered, guitarist Emily Remler (1957-1990) - the former wife of Monty Alexander - in the 1980s. Check out in a muted guise the consummate sense of jazz feeling the apostrophised one brings to Sam Jones' quick witted 'Del Sasser' on 1983's Transitions for instance.

Or, far more recently but still two decades ago, heard with the much missed piano influence to many - including Julian Joseph and Trevor Watkis - Mulgrew Miller. And, on the record too, alongside the great Gonz, Jerry Bergonzi, there's D'earth again shining brightly on the must-hear Restoration Comedy from which the bass-led 'Dawn' is a peach. D'earth, 72, so achingly even Tom Harrell-like and perfect on this new album has an everyman poetic touch leading his quintet of players who joining him are: tenor saxist J. C. Kuhl, who is very expressive on the title track; pianist Daniel Clarke; bassist Peter Spaar and the great new generation drummer Devonne Harris aka DJ Harrison. The tunes, all D'earth's, are first class and stay with you long after the record ends. He belongs in the same bracket as top Belfast trumpeter Linley Hamilton as well as the aforementioned Harrell. And all these great players share a love of hard bop coming from the always ready for Freddie immortal Hubbardian universe and their different sense of tightly knit melodicism that oscillates and lingers long to reach the ineffable soul within.

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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: 15 months.

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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