|New New York opens with the title tune's bucking bustle, a funky, cutting vision of the Big Apple that's got zinging horn lines, bounding bass, and powerhouse percussion. On alto sax, Steve Slagle's got riveting tone and a great sense of melodic curves and bends. Drummer Gene Jackson and bassist Cameron Brown are joined after the opener by guitarist Dave Stryker and then on a pair of cuts by tenor great Joe Lovano.
Vibraphonist Joe Locke stokes the late-night flames on "What Goes Around Comes Around," reminding listeners why his own OmniTone release, Saturn's Child, remains such a winner. New New York finds everyone's engines running optimally. Slagle keeps this Apple-themed set rooted in a hip-swiveling mood that really digs into a salad of crisply punchy rhythms and bright horn lines that celebrate these melodies with poised pounce and thrilling solos.
As for the rhythmic work of Brown and Jackson, much can be gleaned from "Blackwell's Manhattan," the leader's nod to the great New Orleans-born drummer who made such a splash in New York with Ornette Coleman (and indeed on his own). Herein lies the context for Slagle's mix of the spiny and the gutsy.
Recorded at The Studio, New York, New York on June 20 & 21, 2000. Includes liner notes by Frank Tafuri.