Bandleader Christian McBride’s new “jawn,” and more jazz this month – The Denver Post


I’m not familiar with Philadelphia, and I’m confused. Veteran bassist and bandleader Christian McBride has named his current quartet, which he’s bringing to the Boulder Theater on February 26, “New Jawn.”

So, what’s a “jawn?”

Prime, by Christian McBride's New Jawn (Brother Mister Productions)
Prime, by Christian McBride’s New Jawn (Brother Mister Productions)

“It’s a noun. It’s a substitute word for any noun,” McBride tells me. “So instead of a band, it’s a jawn.”

That’s what they call an otherwise unnamed thing in Philly. I’ve learned something one minute into the conversation with McBride, whose new album with the, er, jawn, “Prime,” is magnificently brash. It swings, sometimes it ventures outward (there’s even a nod to ‘60s pioneer Eric Dolphy on one track) and overall, it’s an invigorating listening experience.

This particular quartet (with Josh Evans on trumpet, Marcus Strickland on tenor saxophone and drummer Nasheet Waits) performs without a pianist or guitarist, and since those chordal instruments have been omitted, there’s more of an opportunity to play a “freer” style of the music.


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