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A Fireside Chat With Christian McBride

By Published: October 7, 2003

CM: I think a lot of people, while they love jazz so much, the prejudice of jazz that they don't even realize, but most people who are hardcore jazz fans think that every time you hear jazz, it is supposed to be a history lesson and that is not exactly true.

People fail to see the number one, raw, most basic reason why people like Miles and Coltrane and Charlie Parker were such great musicians because they took chances. They did things that were not conventional. I think people fail to see that.

Charlie Parker and Coltrane, particularly Coltrane, made his strides in world music. I would almost bet that if Coltrane had lived another ten years, he would have hooked up with somebody like a Jimi Hendrix or James Brown. We have more things to draw from and I think people have this prejudice like the Beatles are not a jazz group and James Brown is not a jazz musician, but they are great musicians. They made great music. No, it is not jazz, but it is fine.

One of the great things about playing jazz is that we can take music from those other things and turn it into something brand new and fresh.

FJ: What would you like to have up the yin yang?

CM: (Laughing) Money.

FJ: It can't buy happiness? Eternal youth or unlimited wealth?

CM: Eternal youth.

FJ: Nike or Armani?

CM: At the moment, Nike, but that might change. Here is the thing, Fred, I have both in my closet, but it depends on what band I am playing with.

FJ: Brunettes or blondes?

CM: (Laughing) Oh, I really got to plead the Fifth on that. It is not so much the hair color, but the vibe.

FJ: Finish this: Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got...

CM: Beware of the case that holds them (laughing).

FJ: That ain't the song. We have talked football before, but not since the Eagles were a win away from the Super Bowl.

CM: Even though they damn near made me jump out my window this past post season series. Tampa Bay just had their number. They were just flat out the better team. They out-coach them and outplayed them. Jon Gruden just had his guys really together. I don't think anybody could have beat them.

Philly got the new stadium and I am really crossing my fingers that Hugh Douglas doesn't leave. They already lost, I can't believe Brian Mitchell signed with the Giants. That broke my heart. Not only did he leave the Eagles, but he signed with the arch-enemy. That was a dagger.

FJ: And the future?

CM: We get to the West Coast in April. We will be in LA at Catalina's.


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Download jazz mp3 “Clerow's Flipped” by Christian McBride