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About Christian McBride
Nearly everyone's favorite acoustic bassist to emerge in the 1990s, Christian McBride's large sound and expertise, both with plucked and bowed solos, recall Ray Brown and particularly Paul Chambers. He actually started on electric bass when he was eight and took R&B gigs in high school, but by then he was getting more interested in jazz and playing the acoustic bass. McBride studied at Juilliard (starting in 1989) and then played briefly in the bands of Bobby Watson, Benny Golson, Roy Hargrove, and Freddie Hubbard. He also toured with the Benny Green Trio, and played duets with Ray Brown at the 1994 Monterey Jazz Festival. Also in 1994, he release debut as a leader for Verve, Gettin' to It, featuring contributions from trumpeter Roy Hargrove, saxophonist Joshua Redman, and others. A year later, he delivered his sophomore solo album, Number Two Express, which included a bevy of veteran players like pianists Chick Corea and Kenny Barron, saxophonists Gary Bartz and Kenny Garrett, vibist Steve Nelson, and drummer Jack DeJohnette.
Beginning with Family Affair in 1998, McBride opened up his sound and incorporated more of the pop, funk, and fusion styles he grew up with. This approach continued through such albums as Sci-Fi and Vertical Vision. Having jumped labels from Verve to Warner in the early 2000s, McBride made yet another label change, releasing the more straight-ahead New York Time on Chesky in 2006. In 2009, McBride returned with an equally straight-ahead set of mostly original tunes, Kind of Brown. Two years later, he offered The Good Feeling, his first turn as leader of a big band. The duets album Conversations with Christian followed in 2011.
In 2013 McBride returned to working with his Inside Straight quintet for the album People Music. Also in 2013, McBride delivered the trio album Out Here. Another trio effort, Live at the Village Vanguard, followed in 2015. He then returned to his big band for 2017's Bringin' It. ~ Scott Yanow
- Philadelphia, PA
- May 31, 1972
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