Jazz Album of the Week: Christian McBride's New Jawn

Nov 5, 2018

November 5, 2018. The name Christian McBride is synonymous with Philadelphia jazz. He was born and raised here, attended the High School of Creative and Performing arts with music royalty, and acts as an ambassador of our city to the world.  New Jawn is a release for his city.

For those who don’t know, “jawn” is Philly slang for a person, place or thing.  New Jawn features bassist McBride leading up a quartet consisting of trumpeter Josh Evans, Marcus Strickland on tenor sax and bass clarinet, and drummer Nasheet Waits. The sound is unique due to the absence of a pianist, which makes it even more like Philly – gritty and daring, and maybe a bit brash.

On the McBride composition “Walkin’ Funny,” not only does the title sound Philly, but the music does too. The two horns bounce off of each other like two kids walking down Broad Street, with McBride and Waits carrying the complex tune. “Kush” is a sultry Waits original that focuses attention on Evan’s trumpet, and has a vintage sound while still heavy on improvisation.

The addition of Wayne Shorter’s “Sightseeing” is whiz on top of the cheesesteak, and a nice addition to this tribute the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. Much like Philly, this album boasts a little bit of everything, and isn’t afraid to put it right in your face. This jawn is tight!