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Album Review

Having spent most of his time since the late '90s re-appropriating pop, funk, rock, and fusion elements into his progressive jazz albums, bassist Christian McBride makes a joyously off the cuff return to straight-ahead acoustic jazz on 2006's New York Time. Working here with the seasoned rhythm section giants of pianist Cedar Walton and drummer Jimmy Cobb as well as an equally engaging contemporary, tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson, McBride has crafted a back-to-basics album that, while firmly in the mainstream jazz tradition, works to remind listeners why they dug him in the first place. New York Time is as creatively inspired, forward-thinking, and unexpected as 2000's Sci-Fi and 2003's Vertical Vision are with their mix of electronic-funk and angular, postmodern jazz, and McBride can't escape the fact that his true gift is for swaggering, double-breasted, no holds barred, late-night, straight-ahead modern jazz. Primarily, it's his big, full, commanding double-bass tone that not only drives his bandmates forward, but buoys them on fat swells of sound. It's that natural acoustic tone and earthy pulse of McBride that fit so well with this kind of no-fuss jazz. It's also that sound, paired with the soulfully urbane and elegantly muscular chops of Walton, Cobb, and Jackson, that makes New York Time a jazz lover's dream.

Customer Reviews

Chesky Notes

New York Time offers jazz fans a wonderful opportunity to hear two rising stars of the genre (McBride, Jackson) performing with two respected elders (Cobb, Walton). The past also meets the present in other exciting ways on this recording. The set is highlighted by several of Walton’s original compositions and a cover of the legendary John Coltrane’s “Naima.” Meanwhile, McBride’s acoustic bass talents are spotlighted on his self-written composition “Grove” (for trumpeter Roy Hargrove) and Jackson represents the new vanguard of jazz with his own tune titled “Notes in Three.”

Chesky Records’ world-renowned minimalist recording technique allowed the musicians to relax and the music to flow. “It’s always nice when you’re around friends. It’s nice when it’s a loose atmosphere and everyone is supporting everyone else,” Jackson says. “Very rewarding music can come out of such impromptu situations.”

New York Time is the third of seven titles to be released as part of The New York Sessions series. This new series features the greatest jazz musicians of today recorded with Chesky’s state-of-the-art technology. It also aims to spotlight new artists who are creating fresh opportunities for the music. All New York Sessions titles will be released as aggressively priced hybrid SACDs. Each SACD title will have a CD-compatible layer, as well as high-definition stereo and multichannel versions for SACD players.

Reviews

Using Chesky's ˜one-mic' recording technique and the spacious acoustics of St Peter's Episcopal Church, NYC, the sound is as warm and as well balanced as the carefully selected program of material.

Biography

Born: January 17, 1934 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most valued of all hard bop accompanists, Cedar Walton was a versatile pianist whose funky touch and cogent melodic sense graced the recordings of many of jazz's greatest players. He was also one of the music's more underrated composers; although he was always a first-rate interpreter of standards, Walton wrote a number of excellent tunes ("Mosaic," "Ugetsu," and "Bolivia," to name a few) that found their way into Art Blakey's book during the pianist's early-'60s stint with the Jazz Messengers....
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New York Time, Cedar Walton
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