Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Christian McBride & Inside Straight: People Music

J Hunter By

Sign in to view read count
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 for Inside Straight's follow-up People Music.

Big piano chords and bigger drums announce the arrival of the opener "Listen to the Heroes Cry," and it's only milliseconds before altoist Steve Wilson and vibes master Warren Wolf yank us into a world that recalls Horace Silver at his mammoth height. Wolf flies formation with Wilson on the first chorus, providing a keyboard harmonic that lets pianist Christian Sands roam free, but Wolf doesn't hang with the pack long. His opening solo shows assertiveness and possession, and he ramps these qualities up even as the band gives him room to flex his muscles. Wilson keeps the Blue Note vibe going with Wayne Shorter range and an attitude that screams, "Bring it!" This piece simply struts, and so do these players, even when they get quiet for McBride's own scrumptious spotlight moment.

Sands isn't the regular keyboardist for Inside Straight, just like Ulysses Owens, Jr. isn't the regular drummer, but they fit in seamlessly on "Listen" and the bopping fun that is "Dream Train." Mind you, the people they were subbing for are no slouches. Drum icon Carl Allen is the polar opposite of Christian McBride Band trapper Terreon Gully, in that Allen is as trad as they come. He keeps the urban cruiser "Gang Green" bubbling as Peter Martin's rolling piano figure gives Wilson and Wolf's work extra buoyancy. Martin comps and counters on "Ms. Angelou" adds depth and color to McBride's love letter to another artist, while Allen's rolling and tumbling kicks up the fun on "The Unusual Suspects."

That Wilson burns like napalm on the rousing "The Movement, Revisited" and the uber-slick "Fair Hope Theme" is no surprise. For an Old School alto sound, Wilson's one of the best in the game, but the real revelation here is the young Wolf who is clearly in his element. While he evokes the West Coast coolness of the Modern Jazz Quartet on Aaron Diehl's Mack Avenue debut The Bespoke Man's Narrative, Wolf lets his inner wolverine out on People Music, swinging for the fences on "Gang" and attacking "Dream Train" like a charging bull.

McBride could always play trad, but he's been such a renaissance man that trad was never a priority. Still, a job opportunity focuses everyone's mind in this economy. By expanding its sound for People Music, McBride has Inside Straight perfectly focused.

Track Listing: Listen to the Heroes Cry; Fair Hope Theme; Gang Gang; Ms. Angelou; The Movement, Revisited; Unusual Suspects; Dream Train; New Hope's Angel.

Personnel: Christian McBride: bass; Steve Wilson: alto sax; Warren Wolf: vibes; Christian Sands: piano (1,7); Peter Martin: piano (2-6,8); Ulysses Owens, Jr: drums (1,7); Carl Allen: drums (2-6,8)

Title: People Music | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Mack Avenue Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Clerow's Flipped

Clerow's Flipped

Christian McBride
Live at Tonic

Album Reviews
In Pictures
Live Reviews
In Pictures
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Jazz Art
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Profiles
Read more articles
Christian McBride's New Jawn

Christian McBride's...

Mack Avenue Records
2018

buy
Bringin' It

Bringin' It

Mack Avenue Records
2017

buy
Live at the Village Vanguard

Live at the Village...

Mack Avenue Records
2015

buy
Out Here

Out Here

Mack Avenue Records
2013

buy
People Music

People Music

Mack Avenue Records
2013

buy
The Good Feeling

The Good Feeling

Mack Avenue Records
2011

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Apr13Sat
Chick Corea with Christian McBride and Brian Blade
Schmidtchen Theater
Cape May, NJ
$68
Apr20Sat
Warren Wolf Group with Special Guests
Caton Castle Lounge
Baltimore, MD
$35
Apr24Wed
Christian Mcbride Big Band
Mesa Arts Center
Mesa, AZ
$36-46

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
Driftglass
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019
Read Vera Album Reviews
Vera
By Jerome Wilson
January 22, 2019
Read Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz Album Reviews
Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz
By Dan McClenaghan
January 21, 2019
Read The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two Album Reviews
The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two
By Victor L. Schermer
January 21, 2019
Read Mesophase Album Reviews
Mesophase
By Glenn Astarita
January 21, 2019