Shawn Maxwell’s New Tomorrow is a quintet made up of five of Chicago’s finest musicians. Performing all original material, they specialize in a style of jazz that is heavily influenced and blended with several other modern genres. Focusing on composition just as much as improvisation, they reveal stunning melodies hidden within complex time signatures. This new approach in Maxwell’s writing brings a perfect blend of composition and improvisation for a new direction in jazz.
Maxwell’s new approach is certainly earning him recognition in the jazz world. Including a four-star review from Downbeat:
“Reedist Shawn Maxwell has won fans with a handful of provocative albums that helped make him an exciting figure on the Chicago jazz landscape. New Tomorrow, which adds trumpet voices to Maxwell’s regular quartet, sees the leader taking even more chances in his ongoing quest to surprise the listener.
“Embraceable Excuses,” the opening and strongest track, points to what’s to come: a plethora of riff-driven themes punched up with a heavy backbeat, embracing odd meters and leaning toward funk. What elevates these idiosyncratic tracks above mere compositional self-indulgence is the marvelously collaborative spirit that informs the album.” – Michael Barris, Downbeat
From Dan Healy of the Chicago Jazz Magazine:
“All of Maxwell’s originals stand out. “Three Kinds of Heat” is one of the most memorable original compositions on the record, blending serpentine horn lines with a tight rhythm section groove. The playful “Whole Hearted Half The Time” provides an outstanding vehicle for the band too. This album is a highly recommended release in the funk vein from Maxwell.”
Shawn Maxwell’s New Tomorrow Quintet will be making Buffalo a stop on their summer tour this year. On Friday, June 22nd, Maxell’s quintet will appear at Pausa Art House beginning at 8 pm. The quintet will feature:
Shawn Maxwell – Alto Saxophone, Flute
Victor Garcia – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Matt Nelson – Piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer
Junius Paul – Acoustic & Electric Bass
Phil Beale – Drums
Here is the quintet performing the energizing “Embraceable Excuses” with the unique configuration mention by Downbeat:
The band and their sound bring a muscular and punchy melodic element to their performance. For audiences, it engages them in rhythmic patterns that backbeats are noted for – yet – offer up surprising shifts and changes. It is no wonder they are noted as crowd favorites at concert series and festivals.
Shawn Maxwell’s musicianship has been lauded by fellow musicians and critics alike as he’s become one of the preeminent performers in Chicago jazz. More critic review samplings:
★★★★ review in Downbeat Magazine
“Bravo.” – Bobby Reed, Downbeat Magazine
2-time Editors Pick – Downbeat Magazine
“Nobody writes like this.” – Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
“This is bold music. Maxwell isn’t afraid to try out new ideas and take chances….that risk-taking pays off—big time.”- Frank Alkyer‚ Downbeat Magazine
“His imaginative, unpredictable improvisations make listening to him a genuine pleasure.” – David Franklin, Cadence Magazine
“The sound of Maxwell’s potent, facile sax lines comfortably straddle old-school and contemporary jazz camps.” – Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times Magazine
Such superlatives have propelled Shawn Maxwell’s New Tomorrow into a unique space of projects embodying new directions in jazz. Maxwell provides audiences the opportunity to experience infusions of contemporary music with arrangements that are familiar to the ears of listeners. Their music engaging the audience in an upbeat journey filled with twist, turns, and surprising moments.
For such moments, make plans to see and hear this enterprising group at Pausa Art House on Friday, June 22 at 8 pm.