Last April, Xavier University’s Jazz Series welcomed one of contemporary Jazz’s greatest musicians, bassist/composer/arranger Christian McBride, to the campus’ Gallagher Student Center Theater for a dazzling trio show. McBride is coming back to Cincinnati this week to kick off the series’ 2018-2019 season.
Last year, McBride performed with his trio, Tip City. This time around, McBride will appear with his New Jawn band, named for his new album, Christian McBride’s New Jawn, which will be released this Friday (Oct. 26).
As he explained during his show last year, “Jawn” is slang from McBride’s hometown of Philadelphia, defined as “an all-purpose term for a person, place or thing.” In this context, McBride’s New Jawn is his new trio/project — his “new thing.” The group features trumpeter Josh Evans, saxophonist Marcus Strickland and drummer Nasheet Waits (according to an announcement from the series, Justin Faulkner is slated to play drums for the New Jawn’s first Cincinnati visit).
The New Jawn project comes after a pair of trio albums and a big band album from McBride (Bringin’ It won the 2017 Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album). The Jawn’s format presents challenges and new creative opportunities with its lack of chordal instruments like piano or guitar.
McBride appeared on the cover of the September issue of Downbeat magazine with Cincinnati native/music legend Bootsy Collins and participated in a wide-ranging conversation during which McBride asked about Cincy Jazz great Kenny Poole and Collins talked about the influence of another local Jazz hero, Wilbert Longmire.