Christian McBride Stretches Out on His “New Jawn”
Christian McBride has been working with lots of different bands on his albums over the years with duos, his trio, a quartet, and even a big band. However, his newest release is a format unlike anything he’s done so far.
His New Jawn (a slang term for “thing” from Philadelphia) features Josh Evans on trumpet, Marcus Strickland on saxophone, and Nasheet Waits on drums. Without a chordal instrument, the quartet is able to really stretch out and push the limits on their jams.
“I was looking for a new challenge,” McBride says. “I don’t get the chance too often to play in a chordless group. Every major group I’ve been a part of for the last ten years, whether it’s been with Pat Metheny or Chick Corea or my own projects, there’s been nothing but chords. So, I wanted to see what happens if I just pull the chords out altogether.”
The band dishes out a raw energy that can border on chaos (“Walkin’ Funny”) to pure bliss (“Kush” or “Ballad of Ernie Washington”). Of course, McBride ties things together with free-form grooves, blazing solos, and some deep arco work. The band’s chemistry on this album never lets up, especially the connection between the bassist and drummer, even though it was their first time really digging in together.
“Nasheet is a constant creative vortex,” the bandleader explained. “Be it playing time, playing inside the time or outside the time or no time, it’s always creative. Having known him for a long time but not having played with him much, I was looking forward to the unknown.”
Check out the album opener, “Walkin’ Funny”:
Christian McBride’s New Jawn Track List:
- Walkin’ Funny
- Ke-Kelli Sketch
- Ballad of Ernie Washington
- The Middle Man
- Pier One Import
- Seek the Source
- John Day