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Hear an exclusive track from 'In Common 3,' featuring Kris Davis, Terri Lyne Carrington and Dave Holland

In Common 3
Pierce Johnston
courtesy of the artist
The band on 'In Common 3': Matthew Stevens, Kris Davis, Terri Lyne Carrington, Dave Holland, Walter Smith III.

WBGO is in the midst of our winter fund drive. When you Give the Gift of Jazz, you support not only our broadcast and podcasts, but also exclusive premieres like this one.

Four years ago, tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III and guitarist Matthew Stevens introduced In Common, a project designed to highlight an intergenerational exchange.

In Common's first, self-titled album featured vibraphonist Joel Ross, more than six months before his Blue Note debut. Last year, a follow-up effort found a place of prominence for pianist Micah Thomas, who was then on the verge of releasing his own first statement as a bandleader. In both cases, the spirit of the band suggested an inclusive, upbeat take on the post-bop tradition, embracing it as a living language.

In Common 3

In Common 3, which Whirlwind Recordings will release on March 11, adopts the same position but with a different approach to personnel. Smith and Stevens are on either side of 40, and the album finds them connecting with a peer, pianist Kris Davis — and two NEA Jazz Masters, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington.

WBGO is proud to feature an exclusive premiere of the first single from the album, a Stevens composition titled "Orange Crush." Opening with a bright, jangly ostinato (played in tandem by Stevens and Davis) the tune opens up to a drifting, ethereal melody (largely carried by Smith). There's a concentrated rhythmic energy at play here, but rather than tension or urgency, it traffics in ease.

The musicians from In Common 3 will perform at Nublu in the East Village on Jan. 16, as part of the Winter Jazzfest. There will be just one substitution there, with Harish Raghavan filling in for Holland. Raghavan will also be a part of In Common's European tour from March 23 to April 3, alongside drummer Justin Tyson (subbing for Carrington).

In Common 3 will be released on Whirlwind Recordings on March 11; preorder here.

A veteran jazz critic and award-winning author, Nate Chinen is editorial director at WBGO and a regular contributor to NPR Music.