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Lookin' for a Change

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Album Review

It isn't hard to figure out why pianist/keyboardist/vocalist Joe McBride decided to call this 2009 release Lookin' for a Change. On most of his albums, McBride has functioned as a soul-jazz/smooth jazz instrumentalist who occasionally sings. But there are no instrumentals on Lookin' for a Change; McBride sings on all of the tracks, favoring a gritty yet sophisticated vocal style that is greatly influenced by George Benson but also contains hints of Al Jarreau. If McBride wanted a change, he got one — and the interesting thing is that while Lookin' for a Change is less produced and more acoustic-oriented than McBride's albums typically are, it is also his most R&B-oriented effort. Lookin' for a Change isn't jazz with R&B elements; it is really vocal R&B with jazz overtones. So it is best to judge this 66-minute CD by R&B standards rather than jazz standards — and from an R&B standpoint, Lookin' for a Change is pleasingly solid. McBride soars as an R&B vocalist on his own material as well as on intriguing arrangements of Vanessa Carlton's "1000 Miles," Cameo's "Word Up," and Seal's "Kiss from a Rose." The Missouri native has no problem taking "1000 Miles" out of adult alternative and making it sound like something he heard on one of Benson's R&B vocal albums of the '80s, and his interpretation of "Word Up" is funky but in a much more bluesy and low-key way than Cameo's original 1986 version. Some of McBride's albums have been uneven, but there are no weak moments on Lookin' for a Change — which turns out to be one of the most consistent releases in his catalog.

Customer Reviews

Clever, original and pleasing

This is a refreshing vocal offering with absolutely "top drawer" tunes. Part Benson/Jarreau, Joe also introduces unexpected rhythms, chord progressions and impressive scats. Technically this album may be "R&B" but with Joe's superb piano accompaniment it's still contemporary jazz and very hip. Every cut is a "keeper" and you will not be disappointed.

Lookin' for a Change

Welcome Back! Joe, I got so excited when I saw that you had release a new project. You know I've always view you as a incredible musician and considered you highly talented. Everyone! If you see this project by Joe just trust this review he is great and this would be a great recording to add to you jazz collections. He delivers great vocals and demonstrates polished skills at the piano. Miss you man and good luck. Don't take so long with future recording.

Absolutely, my favorite new discovery in 2009! As good as it gets!


I started my music career as a dance DJ in the late 70's and have built quite the music collection.

But I'm in shock that I have not heard of you till now!

And what an amazing album.

No disrespect, but your other albums i've previewed aren't at this level.

Very few albums by ANY artist, are at this level of quality.

Your renditions of The Scientist, Say, Crazy and 100 miles are off the chart masterpieces in my opinion.

As good as anything from Sting, Botti, Benson, etc.

Absolutely exquisite stuff.

This is the kind of music yoyu were meant to make.

This is YOUR groove...Please build off this style and keep bringin' it!


Awesome, man!

Can't stop favorite The Scientist, Say and 1000 miles.




Born: Fulton, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Born and raised in Fulton, MO, keyboardist/singer Joe McBride began playing the piano at age four. His uncle Bake McBride was an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cleveland Indians. His earliest influences were gospel music, bebop, straight-ahead jazz, Motown, and '70s R&B and funk. As a teenager, he began singing and playing at jazz clubs. Around this time, McBride was stricken with a degenerative eye disease that eventually claimed his sight, but his passion for music didn't diminish....
Full Bio
Lookin' for a Change, Joe McBride
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Customer Ratings