Hot House Jazz Magazine as described Chris McCarthy as one of the most imaginative and impressive voices on the New York jazz scene. Since arriving in New York City in 2016, McCarthy has made a name for himself as one of the scene's most in demand young sidemen. He steps into the foreground as a bandleader with the release of his April 2020 Ropeadope debut, Still Time To Quit. The album features the New York super group of Takuya Kuroda on trumpet, Michael Blake on sax, Sam Minaie on bass and JK Kim on drums. The album has been praised as a big step forward for McCarthy, an auspicious label debut that bodes well for the future by Glide Magazine and was prominently featured on Spotify's Jazz X-Press Editorial Playlist.
Originally from the Seattle area, McCarthy was introduced to jazz through Roosevelt High School's music program. He followed his passion to New England Conservatory, where he graduated with honors in 2016. While in Boston, McCarthy was a regular member of both Jerry Bergonzi and Jason Palmer's working bands. In 2017 he released his debut album Sonder, which All About Jazz described as a very promising release, and hopefully the first of many for this broad-minded and adventurous keyboardist. That same year saw the release of Jason Palmer's acclaimed live album At Wally's Vol. 1, featuring McCarthy on keyboard.
Other recent projects include Sasha Berliner's celebrated album Azalea (2019), trumpeter Tony Glausi's EP My Favorite Tunes (2020), and a new commission with vocalist Clotilde Rullaud from the French American Jazz Exchange
Quotes for Still Time To Quit:
In Still Time To Quit we hear a real ensemble, where all the musicians perfectly understand each
other and interact as a single organism.-JazzQuad
Throughout, McCarthy never tries to steal the spotlight, comfortably comping behind the front line,
with most of his soloing crisp and economical.-Glide Magazine
Quotes for Sonder:
...the cross-genre creativity here suggests that McCarthy is trying to make music beyond category, and
to a large extent he succeeds.
Chris McCarthy is proving to be one of the most imaginative and impressive voices on the New York
jazz scene.-Hot House Jazz Magazine