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Christian McBride's New Jawn Quartet at SF Jazz

Last Friday Christian McBride brought his New Jawn Quartet to SF Jazz as part of his residency. With Marcus Strickland on saxophones, Josh Evans on trumpet, and Nasheet Waits on drums, the bassist was free from any other chordal instrument to limit the harmonic explorations. One of the most gifted bassists of his generation (along with Charnett Moffett) like all greats he evokes the entire history of the music. From New Orleans to Ellington to hard bop (which is perhaps the closest genre most of the pieces referenced) it was also entirely modern and fresh. One piece was from Herbie's Mwandishi period (also one of my favorite Herbie bands) and another evoked Bitches Brew rhythms. Yet another was in some esoteric time, I think 17 1/2, but swung like mad. We have been without Miles for long enough now, that Josh Evans channeling him was refreshing and a fitting tribute. As Christian said of Bobby Hutchinson, people leave their bodies, but the music lives on. Marcus Strickland was a revelation, huge tone and and unending imagination. And Nasheet Waits blew my mind; not since Tony Williams (who was obviously a huge influence) have I been so knocked out by a drummer's time and imagination. Along with the Wayne Shorter Quartet, one of the most important groups today.