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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Christian McBride & Inside Straight: People Music

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Musicians create bands for many things: To gather like-minded artists together, or to achieve some grand artistic vision; Christian McBride created Inside Straight to get a gig. It seems Village Vanguard owner Lorraine Gordon loved McBride but wouldn't book him with his regular, fusion-heavy outfit--or, as Gordon put it, “that rock 'n' roll band." Necessity is the mother, as they say, so McBride built Inside Straight. The thing is, he might have overreacted a tad, because the group's first release Kind of Brown was pure vanilla from end to end. Thankfully, McBride found the right mix of spices in time ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Under the Banner of McBride: Two Bass Hits from a Low-End Giant

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Bassist Christian McBride is many things to many people. Leader, sideman, writer, and conceptualist are just a few of the hats that he happens to wear on these two quintet- centered dates. One album puts McBride's name up in lights, while the other finds him in a supporting role, but his work is central to the success of both outings. His on-the- money groove work, killer chops and tasteful tidings tie these albums together; they both share space under the banner of McBride. Christian McBride + Inside StraightPeople MusicMack Avenue2013

INTERVIEWS

Christian McBride: Knocking on the Door

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Christian McBride was talking about the Grammy he received in October, 2011 for his big band album, The Good Feeling (Mack Avenue, 2011)--his first Grammy as a leader and third overall. While the bassist certainly appreciated getting the nod from his peers and from the Recording Academy, he said he gets just as much of a reward--if not more of one--when he gets calls from musicians he admires asking him to work with them because they like what he does. For example, Ron Carter contacted him recently asking him to put together an arrangement of “Mr. Bow Tie," written in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Christian McBride: Conversations With Christian

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Plenty of ink has been spilled by those espousing their opinions on the art of the trio, but the duo format doesn't get its due nearly as often--either in print or on record. The trio format allows for various permutations in musical interaction, but pairing two artists together is all about direct, head-to-head conversation, and bassist Christian McBride knows a thing or two about this. While McBride has made a name for himself as a go-to bassist for all occasions and styles of music, his podcasts, Sirius-XM Radio Show (The Lowdown: Conversations With Christian McBride) and work as the co-director ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Christian McBride Big Band: The Good Feeling

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In today's jazz world, with most artists working clubs in small combos, there may be something a little retro about a big band recording. However, there are always musicians that are up for the challenge of arranging and recording for larger groups despite the logistics involved.Enter Christian McBride, one of the most accomplished and in-demand bassists on the scene. He has also done his share of arranging for big bands as well, so he's not new to the field. However, The Good Feeling (2011) is his first full-fledged foray into leading a big band of his own. Some ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Christian McBride Big Band: The Good Feeling

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With all that Christian McBride has accomplished in his 30 year jazz career, The Good Feeling is his first recording fronting a big band. This formidable bassist has had a versatile career as leader, sideman, composer and arranger; he has appeared with a galaxy of star players from jazz, as well as rock and pop; and has been commissioned to write for orchestras and festivals. Here, he commands a tightly-knit 17-piece unit, featuring established soloists like trumpeter Nicholas Payton, saxophonists Steve Wilson and Ron Blake, and trombonists Michael Dease and Steve Davis. Pianist Xavier ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Christian McBride Big Band: The Good Feeling

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The Good Feeling marks the debut of the Christian McBride Big Band, but the seeds for this album were sown in the mid-'90s. Jazz at Lincoln Center commissioned McBride to write and arrange his first major big band work--"Bluesin' In Alphabet City"--in 1995, and that experience really sparked his interest in composing for large groups. Now, sixteen years after the ink dried on that number, it appears in the penultimate position on his first big band recording. Over the course of eleven tracks, McBride manages to present music that's respectful of big band traditions, while also showcasing ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Christian McBride: Here Comes McBride

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"We're having a funky good time," bassist Christian McBride proudly announces with a characteristic broad smile--his voice joyous and resonant, as deep and dark as the sound of his instrument. Standing in his honored place, rear and center on the bandstand of the Village Vanguard, McBride has good reason for his unabashed expression of delight. He's celebrating the release of his latest CD, the excellent Kind of Brown (Mack Avenue), with a weeklong engagement leading his new hard swinging acoustic quintet, Inside Straight, at the fabled jazz mecca, affording him not just the opportunity to indulge himself in his favorite ...

INTERVIEWS

Christian McBride: Getting the Inside Straight

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If we think about it for a little while, it's possible to believe that there is something almost mystic and undeniably powerful about jazz. The way it developed through the years and its constant ignition-like energy; the creativity of those who lead the way and those who continue the journey today; the improvisation that takes over souls and willingly delivers its magic for an amazed world to listen.

Jazz is a growing teenager whose future is as wide and vast as the horizon that lies before its tapping feet. Looking back, one also realizes that nothing you ever ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Christian McBride & Inside Straight: Kind of Brown

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Since arriving in New York City in the late 1980s, where he briefly studied at Juilliard, Christian McBride has been one of jazz's most in-demand bassists. In addition, he has become a valuable composer, arranger and jazz educator with a wide-open interest in many musical styles. The initial CD by McBride's Inside Straight quartet features saxophonist Steve Wilson, pianist Eric Reed and drummer Carl Allen (with whom McBride worked in Benny Green's trio), expanding to a quintet on some tracks with up-and-coming vibraphonist Warren Wolf, Jr. Seven of the ten tracks are originals by the leader, several of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Christian McBride & Inside Straight: Kind of Brown

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Bassist/composer Christian McBride is one of the most in-demand sidemen in the music business, having toured and recorded with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Diana Krall and Sting. The Philadelphia-native has also made a name for himself as a daring leader, exploring both acoustic and electronic styles. For Kind of Brown, his premier date for the Detroit-based Mack Avenue Records, McBride introduces his new acoustic jazz quintet Inside Straight, featuring pianist Eric Scott Reed, saxophonist Steve Wilson, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, Jr. and drummer Carl Allen. The elegant funk of the opening blues, “Brother Mister," allows ...

LIVE REVIEWS

McBride, Payton and Whitfield at The Jazz Standard, NYC

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Christian McBride, Mark Whitfield and Nicholas Payton The Jazz Standard New York, New York September 4, 2008

Fresh from a recent busy weekend at the Detroit International Jazz Festival where he was artist-in- residence, bassist/composer Christian McBride was back on his home turf in Manhattan with his familiar sidemen, guitarist Mark Whitfield and trumpeter Nicholas Payton. Familiar too were the friendly confines of the Jazz Standard with a host of fellow musicians in the house to spur the trio on as they lit into the quick, complex lines of McBride's composition dedicated to George ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Charlie Hunter Trio and Christian McBride Band at TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival

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The face of drummer Simon Lott said it all. He and pianist/keyboardist Erik Deutsch are the newest members of The Charlie Hunter Trio after the departure of saxophonist John Ellis and drummer Derek Phillips. Judging by the new sound Lott and Deutsch bring, the new Charlie Hunter Trio could make a case as the new Garage A Trois.

They sat huddled around in a semi circle and played. The crowd rushed the stage (a scene that would repeat itself for McBride). To call Lott's drumming style ferocious could be the understatement of the year. He does not attack the drums ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Christian McBride: Live at Tonic

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Bassist Christian McBride detonated a funkfest in New York City last year and documented it digitally on Live at Tonic. This three-CD set is filled to the brim with music, each disc clocking in at greater than an hour. The problem is there exists a certain 1970s self indulgence on two of the three discs. But that's okay, because the first disc is a crackerjack, the best funk workout since Miles' Agharta (Columbia, 1975).

The first CD contains a recital of tightly arranged and performed funk-jazz pieces performed by McBride's core quartet. These pieces were culled from the ...



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