AVAILABLE NOW: Christian McBride | “Christian McBride’s New Jawn” | Brother Mister Productions
Christian McBride’s New Jawn Releases
Eponymous Debut Album on Bassist’s New
Mack Avenue Music Group Imprint,
Brother Mister Productions
Band Features Trumpeter Josh Evans,
Saxophonist Marcus Strickland,
and Drummer Nasheet Waits
Jawn [jän]: noun. A slang terminology from Philadelphia. All-purpose term for a person, place or thing.
Sure, Christian McBride could have called his new ensemble the Christian McBride Quartet or the Christian McBride Group, or any number of other, somewhat more straitlaced variations on that basic theme. But this new chordless quartet – with trumpeter Josh Evans, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, and drummer Nasheet Waits – arrives with a bit too much grit under its fingernails to warrant a name quite that buttoned up.
If there’s one thing the acclaimed bassist knows, it’s that when it comes to grit there’s no better resource to draw from than his own hometown, Philadelphia. So, McBride turned to one of the city’s most beloved colloquialisms to christen his latest project, Christian McBride’s New Jawn. On the band’s eponymous debut, these four stellar musicians ably walk the razor’s edge between thrilling virtuosity and gut-punch instinctiveness. The release is available now via Brother Mister Productions, McBride’s own newly launched imprint of his longtime record company, Mack Avenue Music Group.
“I was looking for a new challenge,” says McBride of the birth of the New Jawn. “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 result is a surprisingly bracing and adventurous outing for McBride. A world-renowned bassist regularly lauded as a musician who can do anything, he proves it yet again by venturing into new territory. New Jawn runs the gamut of stylistic approaches, from deep-rooted swing to daring abstraction, singular blues to exquisite balladry. At the core of it all is McBride’s trademark sound, robust and embracing, agile and inventive.
The New Jawn came together during McBride’s annual two-week residency at NYC’s iconic Village Vanguard in December 2015. The regular gig allows him the luxury to experiment, and this quartet was an idea that clicked, continuing to surprise and provoke each other to new heights over the ensuing years on the road.
Call something a “jawn” in Philly, and everyone will know that whatever you’re talking about has a certain hip cachet, a heavy dose of soul, and a generous helping of what in the City of Brotherly Love is known as “atty-tood.” Christian McBride’s New Jawn has all of that to spare.