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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 ...



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