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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.

Biography

Born: 17 January 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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