All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

143

Christian McBride Big Band: The Good Feeling

Larry Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
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 Davis and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. provide the group's foundation.

The aggregation performs six McBride compositions and five standards. Three well-known ballads are given pleasing renditions by vocalist Melissa Walker, in a Dianne Reeves cum Sarah Vaughan vein.

The album starts out with the temperature up on "Shake 'n Blake." As the title suggests, McBride wrote this for Blake, who obliges with a crisp solo. McBride's bass is out front and prominent here, as it is on most numbers.

The venerable Count Basie style is given homage in the bouncy favorite, "Broadway." On another chestnut, "I Should Care," McBride helps to tease out the familiar melody in a delightful manner. The song then becomes a showcase for trumpets and saxophones.

McBride's "Science Fiction" is an almost 12-minute tone poem, effectively suggesting the otherworldly: the piano, a ticking clock; the woodwinds, precursors of all that's alien.

The closing "In a Hurry" is accelerando con brio, with saxophones and trombones turned loose. McBride's bowed bass leads into in an unfettered ending, with a call-and response unleashing a dynamo of drums at the finish.

McBride should keep this band in his phone directory, bringing them together for more recordings and appearances. His orchestra should be listed alongside other ensembles, the likes of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, the Maria Schneider and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

Track Listing: Shake N' Blake; Broadway; Brother Mister; When I Fall In Love; Science Fiction; The Shade Of The Cedar Tree; The More I See You; I Should Care; A Taste Of Honey; Bluesin' In Alphabet City; In A Hurry.

Personnel: Christian McBride: bass; Steve Wilson: alto saxophone, flute; Todd Bashore: alto saxophone, flute; Ron Blake: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Todd Williams: tenor saxophone, flute; Loren Schoenberg: tenor saxophone (2, 8); Carl Maraghi: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Frank Greene: trumpet; Freddie Hendrix: trumpet; Nicholas Payton: trumpet; Nabati Isles: trumpet; Steve Davis: trombone; Michael Dease: trombone; James Burton: trombone; Douglas Purviance: bass trombone; Xavier Davis: piano; Ulysses Owens, Jr.: drums; Melissa Walker: vocals.

Title: The Good Feeling | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Mack Avenue Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Brother Raymond CD/LP/Track Review
Brother Raymond
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Frescalalto CD/LP/Track Review
Frescalalto
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Motion CD/LP/Track Review
Motion
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 22, 2018
Read El Duende CD/LP/Track Review
El Duende
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Vol II CD/LP/Track Review
Vol II
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "Naacal" CD/LP/Track Review Naacal
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 25, 2018
Read "Simbiose" CD/LP/Track Review Simbiose
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "Passin' Thru" CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Unloved" CD/LP/Track Review Unloved
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 12, 2017
Read "Bright Force" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Riser" CD/LP/Track Review Riser
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 16, 2017