Joe McCarthy and The New York Afro Bop Alliance Big Band
By Kabir Sehgal
This album is unbridled energy. From his place on the drum “throne,” Joe McCarthy leads his impressive large ensemble through the warp and weft of vintage jazz numbers, as well as more contemporary pieces. While there are many big bands on the scene, there are none quite like his, which can navigate between bebop and clave with dexterity and aplomb.
That the band can move from angular, intervallic runs to lush, more pensive moments is a testament to the virtuosity of its performers and the artistic suppleness of its leader. Throughout each number is a “time certain,” a precision of rhythm from “Chief Joe” who was a member of the US Navy and led one of its bands. And if you ask members of band, they will commend him for his professionalism and unwavering commitment to get the most (and the best) from each performer. As a Navy man myself, I say to my shipmate “Bravo Zulu!” It has been a privilege and honor to produce this album with Paul Avgerinos for McCarthy, who has given us an exquisite vessel of craft and care.