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The Christian McBride Trio at the Tin Pan

Mark Robbins By

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Christian McBride strode onto the stage of the Tin Pan in Richmond, VA. to announce that his regular pianist, Christian Sands, and drummer, Jerome Jennings, (refereed to as his younger brothers) could not be with him for their performance. He phoned a couple of his friends, (referring to them as his big brothers), to see if they could help him out and happily they could. That night's trio consisted of McBride on bass, Benny Green on piano and Lewis Nash on drums.

Needless the say the sold out crowd of 235 jazz fans leapt to their feet before the first note was sounded. The night's show was a tribute to the outstanding bassist/composer/arranger Ray Brown and was entitled "Remembering Ray Brown." Each musician recounted humorous and sometimes touching remembrances of their times playing with Brown. Between stories, one particularly funny anecdote McBride told about the F in F.S.R. (the title may not be "For Sonny Rollins"), the trio swung through a collection of songs associated with the great bassist. The lyrical "Summer Wind," bouncy "Li'l Darlin,'" "F.S.R.," "Captain Bill"-McBride and Green recreated the great interplay from the 1994 recording with Brown and Green, Buhaina Buhaina the trio of McBride, Green and Nash made this their own which is not easy to do when you're the following the footsteps Ray Brown, Gene Harris and Jeff Hamilton, "Milestones" by Miles Davis, and "Bassface" completed the 90 minute set.

Just as infectious as the music was the good time each musician seemed to be having, their broad smiles and laughter was contagious and it was hard to tell who was having a better time, the trio or the audience.
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