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  Chesky -
  New York Time - McBride, Jackson, Cobb, Walton
  "New York Time"

Christian McBride
Javon Jackson
Jimmy Cobb
Cedar Walton
Track listing:
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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 3

Review by Oakland December 31, 2006 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
“New York Time” was recorded only two days after “West of 5th” (see previous comments), on January 31, 2006, in the same venue, with the same piano, the same 1950s quintessential jazz feel, and with the identical Chesky recording team. In addition, 2/3 of the trio in “West of 5th”, Cobb and McBride, form ½ of the quartet of “New York Time”, joining tenor Javon Jackson and pianist Cedar Walton. So there are similarities with respect to sound (as well as my comments for both discs) but make no mistake these two New York Sessions are not a rehash of the other. There are a lot more variables than I am knowledgeable about, but certainly tenor Jackson is a key one. A friend of mine who has several Jackson albums says Jackson sounds at his absolute best on this “New York Times” recording.

But without question the most important variable differentiating “New York Time” from “West of 5th” is the highly credentialed Walton who since the 60’s has been a creative top tier jazz pianist, arranger, and what I came to realize with this recording, a foremost composer. In fact, I was mulling over what my favorite compositions on the disc and found that 2 of the 4 were Walton compositions. I subsequently learned that several of his compositions have become a standard part of the recorded jazz repertoire, although none of those standards were recorded on this disc. There are 10 selections on this disc, 8 with *jazz* origins and not an over abundance of pop or Broadway tunes. This is important to me. Four are Walton compositions. Others with jazz origins are from John Coltrane, Christian McBride and two from Javon Jackson.

As with “West of 5th”” the music is inventive and fresh and performances are best described as quintessential 1950's small combo jazz. And as with the "West of 5th" disc there are no "sidemen" here. While Walton is excellent as a leader and an indispensable accomplice to the other members of the quartet we are talking consummate professionals all. And as such there is no tightly focused spotlight on a single musician, such as you will find, in say, a Gene Harris disc.

I’m not sure how the Chesky engineers pulled it off for recordings made in a spacious church, but “New York Time” sounds most like when I’m in the audience of the renowned Yoshi’s jazz club in Oakland, or at an impromptu jazz set in Union Square or at Sather Gate U.C. Berkeley.

I’ll close with the exact comments I made for the “West of 5th” disc, for me the most authentic recordings, whether they be two channel or multi-channel are how well they hide that fact. The “best” or most authentic jazz (and classical) recordings to me are virtually seamless and actually sound like “no channels”. “New York Time” with the somewhat more than subtle use of the rear channels, is masterfully done. To me recordings with properly employed minimalist techniques sound more like being there, albeit at the risk of sounding less like “audiophile recordings”. I am most happy that the Chesky engineers chose the path of “less is more” with the multi-channel (and two-channel) New York Sessions recordings.

Robert C. Lang

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Review by JW November 4, 2006 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
As I write this, this disc has only been on the market for a couple of weeks. I just have to quote the well written liner notes by Howard Mandel. Easy way out for for me, but he says it best: "New York Time comprises four estimable heirs of the long jazz legacy that glories in understated virtuosity, subtle sensibilities and mellow heads. Jackson's rich husky tone [JW: tsax], Walton's deft touch [JW: p], McBride's consistent excellence [JW: b], Cobb's uplifting swing [JW: dr] and exacting emphassis come together as these men listen to each other with genuine empathy."

The sound is very analog. No sharply defined soundstages with individual instruments carved in their own space, but a live sound in a nicely proportioned acoustic space by a quartet as you would hear it when you are watching from a little distance. It sounds very natural to me, with just that right bit of hall space. A very fine recording effort with exquisite musical content.


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Review by Barb October 27, 2007 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
C. McBride b, J. Jackson ts, J. Cobb ds, C. Walton p, Chesky 2006.
The latest Chesky Jazz recordings, The New York Sessions, are, to me, the best recordings ever because they are the most natural sounding ever. They always record live, not in studios, with minimal but highest quality technical equipment. There is no multi-tracking, overdubbing or compressing what makes the music sound so natural with its original dynamics. The lack of technical equipment may be the reason for the natural, pleasing sound of so many Jazz records of the 50`s, even the monaural ones, combined with the highest quality technical equipment of today Chesky makes the perfect sound. Listening to Cheskys for the first time you will recognize they are out of the ordinary, but I think you`ll have to get familiar with them to hear that they are best. In some of the booklets there are diagrams showing the positions of the musicians during the recording session. That was not necessary, you can see them when playing the record.
On this disc the prominent quartet plays contemporary jazz at it`s best. Four compositions by Walton (standards themselves), two by Jackson, one by McBride and three standards in thrilling interpretations are presented. Jackson shows all his talents on the tenor in exciting solos, McBride is known as one of the best bass players present for good reasons, accompanying or soloing, he can do everything at highest standard. The old fellows Cobb and Walton do a perfect job here as well. Cobb can be a tender, fragile fairy on his drum kit and a monster as well. This is very expressively demonstrated by the explosive dynamics of the record. The superbly played jazz on this disc will grab you from the beginning and thrill you till the end.

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