Label: Mack Avenue Records
Here's a jazz trio album to beat a lot of others out on the market. Bassist McBride, heard to thrilling solo effect on "Cherokee" (among other tunes here) calls this "meat and potatoes" swing. And he's right: The sanctified progression of "Hallelujah Time" is home cooking done right. (Not that the track doesn't also have an idiosyncratic streak: just check the leader's nimble arco solo.) Give credit to the veteran's supporting cast: Drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. works equally well on numbers up-tempo and slow, while pianist Christian Sands announces himself as a force. A top release of 2013.