360

Christian McBride: Sci-Fi

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Christian McBride: Sci-Fi Undeniably a great technician and one of the best jazz bassists of his generation, Christian McBride is so much in demand that he might safely be considered a Paul Chambers for the new millennium. But like many talented men who find themselves viable artists in the role of sidemen, McBride has been inconsistent in his efforts as the person in charge. Sci-Fi, his fourth set for Verve as a leader, is still meandering in spots but has a creative edge to it that finds McBride earning points in the resourcefulness category.

The most captivating moments here come with McBride's reworking of such pop tunes as Steely Dan's "Aja" and Sting's "Walking on the Moon," the former taking pieces of the original form for its light swing and the latter possessing a brooding and languorous quality complete with James Carter's moody bass clarinet. A salute to bass masters Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke makes for more highlights, with Pastorius" "Havona" turning into a heady romp, while Clarke's beautiful waltz "Butterfly Dreams" comes on with an impressive bit of bowed work from McBride.

Mixing electric and acoustic elements, guitarist David Gilmore figures prominently into the mix. The other special guests are far less integral to the success of the whole, yet Hancock tears it up on "Xerxes." McBride's own writing is not as strong as his arranging, yet the overall mood hangs together and the presentation is somewhat in the vein of a modern update on early '70s fusion (the track "Via Mwandishi" should give the astute reader a signpost in the general direction). So even though the theme may lead a bit on the side of kitsch, Sci-Fi packs a visceral punch that's worth a listen.


Track Listing: Aja, Uhura's Moment Revisited, Xerxes, Lullaby For a Ladybug, Science Fiction, Walking on the Moon, Havona, I Guess I'll Have to Forget, Butterfly Dreams, Via Mwandishi, The Sci-Fi Outro

Personnel: Christian McBride- electric and acoustic bass; keyboards; Ron Blake- tenor and soprano saxophone; James Carter- bass clarinet (tracks 6 & 10 only); Shedrick Mitchell- piano and Fender Rhodes; Herbie Hancock- piano (track 3 & 4 only); Dianne Reeves- vocals (track 4 only); Toots Thielemans- harmonica (track 8 only); David Gilmore- guitars (tracks 1,5,6,and 10); Rodney Green- drums

| Record Label: Verve Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Unstatic" CD/LP/Track Review Unstatic
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "The Whistle Blower" CD/LP/Track Review The Whistle Blower
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Pomona" CD/LP/Track Review Pomona
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "This Is Trumpetology" CD/LP/Track Review This Is Trumpetology
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 17, 2016
Read "Song of the Free Will" CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Free Will
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!