Saturday, August 28, 2010

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
The many moods of McBride

This week, we once again turn our video spotlight on bassist Christian McBride, who will be back in St. Louis to perform a duo concert with pianist Peter Martin on Saturday, September 11 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

McBride has been a fairly frequent visitor here in recent years, most recently playing at Jazz at the Bistro in November 2009 with his band Inside Straight. Astute readers may recall that we featured the bassist in a Saturday video post then, but given his diverse and ever-evolving career, there's plenty more to hear.

McBride, who's 38 years old, is originally from Philadelphia and has been involved in music since childhood. His father and great uncle are both bassists, and served as early mentors, and his classmates at the city's performing arts high school included organist Joey DeFrancesco and hip-hop drummer/producer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson of the Roots.

Over the years, McBride has played with many significant jazz musicians, such as Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Diana Krall, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Wynton Marsalis and Joshua Redman. He's also worked with musicians from many other genres, including the Roots, Kathleen Battle, Carly Simon, Sting, Bruce Hornsby, Queen Latifah and James Brown. Other notable collaborative efforts include the Philadelphia Experiment, with keyboardist Uri Caine and ?uestlove; and the Five Peace Band, with McLaughlin, Corea, Kenny Garrett and Vinnie Colaiuta.

As a bandleader, McBride has several different ventures, including a jazz/fusion/funk group called simply the Christian McBride Band; "A Christian McBride Situation" with saxophonist Ron Blake, guitarist David Gilmore, and turntablist DJ Logic; and the aforementioned Inside Straight, which concentrates on straight-ahead, swinging modern jazz.

With all this activity, McBride also somehow found time to be "Creative Chair for Jazz" with the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 2006 until earlier this year - he was succeeded by Herbie Hancock - and to continue to serve as co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Today's clips offer several different perspectives on this very versatile musician. First up is a video recorded last year of McBride and Inside Straight, with Martin on piano, playing "Used 'Ta Could." (That's Warren Wolf on vibes, Steve Wilson on alto sax and Ulysses Owens, Jr., who was here earlier this year for a trio concert with Martin, on drums.)

Down below is a clip of the Christian McBride Band, with East St. Louis' Terreon Gully on drums, performing a tune called "The Wizard of Montara." This performance is a few years old - it was recorded in 2003 at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA - but includes a very nice solo from McBride that starts about two and a half minutes in.

Below that, there's a excerpt from a 2008 performance by the Christian McBride Band, showing McBride demonstrating his chops on electric bass. And finally, the fourth clip offers "A Day In The Life" of the bassist, in which he takes viewers on a tour of his home in Montclair, NJ and talks about his instruments, music, domestic life ("It's really my wife's house. I get one room," he says at one point.) and various other topics. It's an entertaining look at the man behind the music.

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