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The Philadelphia Experiment

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Album Review

This loose trio date brings together three Philadelphia-bred musicians with radically divergent careers but a lot in common nonetheless. They are pianist/keyboardist Uri Caine, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer/programmer Ahmir ("?uestlove") Thompson from the Roots. It's a textbook example of how jazz, soul, and hip-hop were becoming deeply intertwined at the outset of the new millennium. The album features a number of original tunes and improvisations, as well as covers from sources as diverse as Sun Ra, Marvin Gaye, Elton John, and Grover Washington, Jr. Along the way the trio is joined by John Swana on trumpet, Pat Martino on guitar, and Larry Gold on cello. Caine relies heavily on the Fender Rhodes piano, with McBride switching between electric and acoustic basses and Thompson combining live and programmed beats. Two of the covers, "Ain't It the Truth" and "Ile Ife," are by the early-'70s group Catalyst, whose members used to back Pat Martino. Some of the material is a bit lightweight, and one of the more gripping pieces, "(re)Moved," fades away before it can become anything substantial. That said, the playing is great and the grooves are irresistible — particularly the opening title track. Caine closes the program with a solo acoustic rendition of Grover Washington Jr.'s "Mr. Magic," and then McBride extends the Washington tribute with a hidden track, a playful solo bass reading of "Just the Two of Us." Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom," performed as a piano/cello duo, is eyebrow-raising but a bit contrived. Ultimately the date comes across as three extraordinary talents just having fun, although the ramifications for eclectic music-making in the future are profound. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi

Customer Reviews

?uest Love is Nasty

Christian Mcbride is as sick as it gets and ?quest love is the best hip hop drummer of all time. Together they made a great album. it is a great purchase.


The best of both worlds on this. Fine guitar by Pat Martino. I've been waiting for the 2nd part of this experiment to arrive. ?uest love is putting down some of his best work on drums. I love to play this in the car with the windows down doing 45 on Lake Shore Drive here in Chicago.

simply put... amasssing

this group is incredible, they are even better live, and i actually bought this album


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

A one-off studio jam featuring native Philadelphia musicians Ahmir Thompson (the Roots, Erykah Badu, Macy Gray, Musiq Soulchild), Christian McBride (McCoy Tyner, Kathleen Battle, Benny Golson, Benny Green, Ray Brown), and Uri Caine (Mickey Roker, Robert "Bootsie" Barnes, Don Byron), the Philadelphia Experiment players met for three breezy September days in 2000 at the Roots' studio space. Local friends Pat Martino, John Swana, and Larry Gold stopped in to...
Full Bio
The Philadelphia Experiment, The Philadelphia Experiment
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Customer Ratings