Christian Mcbride: New York Time

COMPOSERS: Christian Mcbride
LABELS: Chesky
ALBUM TITLE: Christian McBride
WORKS: New York Time
PERFORMER: Christian McBride (bass), Javon Jackson (saxophone), Jimmy Cobb (drums), Cedar Walton (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: SACD 314 (hybrid CD/SACD)
Call me an old reactionary but I’m convinced that far too much recent jazz hasn’t actually added to the progress of the music at all. Instead, it’s devolved into a kind of jazz-lite, full of spark but short on substance. Fortunately, anyone sharing my suspicions and seeking an antidote to this malaise need look no further than this disc, which demonstrates that so-called mainstream remains a hotbed of creativity and featuring four musicians whose status makes this first excursion on CD for this quartet unmissable. Upbeat, optimistic, virtuosic yet sensitive, contemporary yet timeless, this is a fine distillation of the essence of small-group modern jazz, from McBride’s loping bass solo on the opening track to the sensitive handling of Coltrane’s ‘Naima’ and beyond. The no-trickery Chesky approach to recording is a vital component here, too, conveying all the vitality of the music as it occurred in the real world. Roger Thomas

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