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Christian McBride, Edgar Meyer: But Who's Gonna Play The Melody?

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Christian McBride, Edgar Meyer: But Who's Gonna Play The Melody?
It is not known exactly how many duets of this nature have fallen into the lackluster bin of audio history. But rest assured that But Who's Gonna Play The Melody? is as far from that incalculable number as the moon is from the sun.

Emblematic of Christian McBride's whole groove credo, everything falls into place quickly, smoothly, and easily on But Who's Gonna Play The Melody?. On the bassist's gazillionth high spirited musical offering, McBride soul-teams with finger-snapping, bluegrass-bred, classical composer & bassist Edgar Meyer—who has previously played with Joshua Bell, Bela Fleck, and Yo-Yo Ma—for a most rousing revelry. Both virtuosos with a keen sense of humor, McBride and Meyer curate their heartland musical idiosyncrasies, resulting in some very sweet moments such as the hip swaying "Green Slime" and the see-sawing "Barnyard Disturbance," both mischievous Meyer originals.

McBride answers those compositional hijinks with "Bebop, Of Course" and, as the duo reels and rolls from that throbbing bounce-a-thon, they willingly engage in "Bass Duo #1," a complex yet informal and actively conversational Meyer invention. In the overall scheme of things, it comes as no surprise that the duo follow up with a romping take on Miles Davis's richly languid "Solar" (Miles Davis Quintet, Prestige, 1954.)

"Canon," with its chamber echoes and achingly emotive arching, catches the lift and frees itself with "Philly Slop," a noir jump-hop which the ever- agile duo jitterbug merrily through. On "FRB 2DB" Meyer thoroughly enjoys his time on the grittier side of the classical tracks and McBride is gleeful to be his bro-boy companion.

With McBride sidling over to the piano to provide delicate guardrails, an extremely wistful "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," gracefully unravels as Meyer takes his bow to the tune and soars. "Bass Duo # 2" pops as elegantly and playfully as its predecessor, with the two masters slurring, walking, giving way. It is a six-minute lesson in the art of being human, ready to compromise for the better of all, here and now, ready to support, to huddle, to move forward towards a more perfect union. And that is what But Who's Gonna Play The Melody? is really all about.

Track Listing

Green Slime; Barnyard Disturbance; Bebop, of Course; Bass Duo #1; Solar; Canon; Philly Slop; Interlude #1; FRB 2DB; Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered; Bass Duo #2; Lullaby for a Ladybug; Days of Wine and Roses; Interlude #2; Tennessee Blues.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Christian McBride: acoustic bass #1-7, 9-11, 13-15; piano #8, 12. Edgar Meyer: acoustic bass #1-9, 11-13; piano #10, 14.

Album information

Title: But Who's Gonna Play The Melody? | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Mack Avenue Records


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