After The Rain…. Comes a Great Review!

Unfortunately, the New Tricks at the Groove on Grove show was rained out last night.  Just seconds before we were about to play, a rainstorm opened up on us.  Thus, canceling our performance and our friends in the Hangmen who were to play after us.

However, this morning we woke up to the nice surprise of another fantastic review by one of the band’s favorite jazz writers David Orthmann. David has come to several of our gigs and really understands the core of what we are going for. David particularly understands the creative brilliance that is going on in our “Shellen” rhythm section. Please check out his review of us and all of his other writings. Here is a link to our review.

New Tricks – Alternate side

by David Orthmann

Each of the nine tracks of Alternate Side by New Tricks, a quartet co-led by saxophonist Mike Lee and trumpeter Ted Chubb, is a journey of an irregular route with lots of detours. The melodies and some of the tunes’ structures resemble hard bop but, in general, the music is freer and more intensely interactive. The give and . . . → Read More: After The Rain…. Comes a Great Review!

“Alternate Side” review in Jazz Inside NY Magazine.

Check out this new review in a great local NY jazz Magazine. You can also find the publication in the corner of the bar in all the best NY jazz clubs. Or you can read it online here.

By Mark Keresman In case you needed to be reminded appearances— and preconceptions—are often deceiving. Take the latest disc by the NYC-area quartet New Tricks—two horns, bass, and drums. One might think the contents are going to be post- Ornette Coleman “out” jazz. Wrong—this foursome forgoes the presence of a chordal instrument (like piano or guitar) not to “depart” from a conventional semblance of harmony but to emphasize harmony. So Alternate Side superficially evokes the classic Ornette Coleman Quartet(s) of the 1950s, the style is surging, hard-swinging hard bop a la Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, and Art Blakey, with wee touches of free jazz (as defined by Don Cherry, Dave Douglas, and Ornette).

The sparse, mournful “Vicenza Days” gives the horn-gents a chance to shine, but not in any pyrotechnical manner. Ted Chubb is both brassy (no pun intended) and elegiac, his crisp, fervent tone . . . → Read More: “Alternate Side” review in Jazz Inside NY Magazine.

New Tricks review in July’s Jazz Times!

Please pick up this months new Jazz Times for a great review by the fantastic writer Bill Milkowski.  We feel that he really got to the heart of what our band is about!   Jazz Times

New Tricks – “Alternate Side”

by Bill Milkowski

Co-led by fellow Cleveland natives Mike Lee on tenor saxophone and Ted Chubb on trumpet, New Tricks conveys a distinct New York sound on its aggressively swinging sophomore effort. With Kellen Harrison on bass and Shawn Baltazor on drums, the quartet puts a new spin on an old hard-bop formula without crossing over into the avant-garde camp. They come out of the gate swaggering on the vibrant title track, on which Lee reflects the influence of his mentor Joe Lovano (particularly in the high register). “Optimistic-Lee,” a metrically tricky form that yields bracing solos by both Chubb and Lee, is Lee’s take on the many tongue-in-cheek song and album titles associated with Lee Konitz and Lee Morgan. “Shellen vs Chee” is an all-out burner that pits the tight rhythm tandem of Harrison and Baltazor (Kellen + Shawn = Shellen) against the two-headed . . . → Read More: New Tricks review in July’s Jazz Times!

Spotlight in the NYC Hot House!

Here is the spotlight feature in May’s Hot House magazine on page 25!  We are very proud to be included in this publication.

Click below for the full screen view then click again at the bottom of the page to enlarge our article.

Shellen gets some home town love!

They are so in tune with each other that the co-leaders of New Tricks, tenor saxophonist Mike Lee and trumpeter Ted Chubb, refer to them as “Shellen,” a combination of their first names. . . . → Read More: Shellen gets some home town love!

Raves! from

From the very first note of the recording, it’s clear that the band is steeped in the jazz tradition, but what’s also evident is the energy of young musicians looking to explore new territory. Long may they journey and continue to make great music. . . . → Read More: Raves! from

Our first new review of Alternate Side!

A killer date sure to be loved by anyone looking for a fast ball right down the middle. . . . → Read More: Our first new review of Alternate Side!

All About Jazz Article About Shawn!

A new article about our great, fantastic, awesome, swinging, badass drummer appears in All About Jazz Today.  The author David Orthman has been good to New Tricks over the past couple of years. He’s one of the first to really “get it” about Shawn and New Tricks.

Yes, he really is this good!

WCPN Radio Interview with Dan Poletta

I had the very wonderful experience of interviewing with WCPN’s Dan Poletta Tuesday morning. You can hear it here:

First Vlog Review

Hey New Tricks CD is great – but don’t take my word for it, check out this review:

Top Releases of 2009!

It’s impossible to do justice to all of the fine new music issued in 2009. So I’ve listed ten of the discs that had the greatest impact on me. Each one includes the name of the drummer who was essential in making the music special. . . . → Read More: Top Releases of 2009!

New Tricks CD review in Cleveland Scene Magazine..

Mike Lee is a saxophone master who has worked in the New York City area for almost two decades. His latest CD, a co-billing with trumpeter Ted Chubb, is an angular and daring affair. It’s piano-less, modeled after the original Ornette Coleman Quartet; this is post-bop, not bop . . . → Read More: New Tricks CD review in Cleveland Scene Magazine..

First New Tricks CD Review!

New Tricks Mike Lee / Ted Chubb | Independent (2009)

By Glenn Astarita

New Jersey resident, veteran educator, group leader and session ace Mike Lee pulls some new tricks out of an old bag on this 2009 quartet date with co-leader/trumpeter Ted Chubb. In the liners, Lee mentions that this aggregation found its origins via recurring jam sessions in his basement. They’re a young and noble bunch of jazz warriors ready for battle. The proof lies within this hip session, based on crisp arrangements, resonant soloing and a tight-knit line of attack…

read the rest at the All About Jazz website

All About Jazz Review of Cecil's Gig Friday July 17th

Over the past few years, the northern New Jersey-based band New Tricks has painstakingly developed a distinctive sound during weekly sessions in the basement studio of saxophonist Mike Lee. It is almost bad form to single out contributions of the tightly knit quartet’s members, which include Lee, trumpeter Ted Chubb, bassist Kellen Harrison and drummer Shawn Baltazor. An excellent, self-titled compact disc recorded in 2007 and released several weeks ago on New Tricks Records only approximates the high energy and single-minded intensity they generated throughout an opening set at Cecil’s Jazz Club. “We are New Tricks,” Lee declared after the first number, as if to underscore the group’s “one for all” ethos. . . . → Read More: All About Jazz Review of Cecil's Gig Friday July 17th

“New Tricks” Review by Dr. Timothy M. Kalil, 7/15/09

Although these musicians are all soloists in their own right, in an ensemble setting “New Tricks” plays as if they are one instrument and concomitantly, their strong suit is their intuitive interaction and resultant tight sound. “New Tricks” is well on its way to becoming one of America’s premier jazz ensembles and hopefully will perform as a unit long enough to make an impact on the jazz world. . . . → Read More: “New Tricks” Review by Dr. Timothy M. Kalil, 7/15/09