Christian McBride Blue Note Residency: Quartet
@ Blue Note Jazz Club – Shows @ 8PM & 10:30PM (Doors @ 6PM & 9:45PM)
Bassist extraodinaire, composer, arranger, educator, curator and administrator, Christian McBride, has been one of the most important and most omnipresent figures in the jazz world for 20 years. Sometimes hard to believe considering this man is barely in his 40’s.
Beginning in 1989, this Philadelphia-born bassist moved to New York City to further his classical studies at the Juilliard School, only to be snatched up by alto saxophonist, Bobby Watson. Since then, McBride’s list of accomplishments have been nothing short of staggering. As a sideman in the jazz world alone, he’s worked with the best of the very best – Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, J.J. Johnson, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny. In the R&B world, he’s not only played with, but also arranged for Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Lalah Hathaway, and the one and only Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. In the pop/rock world, he’s extensively collaborated with Sting, Carly Simon, Don Henley, and Bruce Hornsby. In the hip-hop/neo-soul world, he’s collaborated with the Roots, D’Angelo, and Queen Latifah. In many other specialty projects, he’s worked closely with opera legend Kathleen Battle, bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, the Shanghai Quartet and the Sonus Quartet.
Away from the bass, Christian has become quite an astute and respected spokesperson for the music. In 1997, he spoke on former President Bill Clinton’s town hall meeting “Racism in the Performing Arts”. In 2000, he was named Artistic Director of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions. In 2005, he was officially named the co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Also in 2005, he was named the second Creative Chair for Jazz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.
In 1998, McBride composed, “The Movement, Revisited”, a four-movement suite dedicated to four of the major figures of the civil rights movement – Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The piece was commissioned by the Portland (ME) Arts Society and the National Endowment for the Arts. The piece was performed throughout the New England states in the fall of 1998 with McBride’s quartet and a 30-piece gospel choir led by J.D. Steele.
Ten years later in 2008, “The Movement, Revisited” was expanded, re-written, re-vamped and performed again in Los Angeles at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The updated version now featured the gospel choir, an 18-piece big-band and four actors/speakers. The Los Angeles Times claimed the “Movement” as, “a work that was admirable – to paraphrase Dr. King – for both the content of its music and the character of its message.”
Since 2000, McBride has blazed a trail as a bandleader with the Christian McBride Band. McBride’s fellow bandmates – saxophonist Ron Blake, keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer and drummer Terreon Gully – have sympathetically shared McBride’s all-inclusive, forward-thinking outlook on music. Releasing two CD’s – 2002’s “Vertical Vision”, and 2006’s “Live at Tonic”, writer Alan Leeds called McBride’s band (affectionately known as the “CMB”) “one of the most intoxicating, least predictable bands on the scene today.” It is a group that has mesmerizingly walked an electro-acoustic fault line with amazing results.
In 2009, Christian released his quintet CD “Christian McBride & Inside Straight” on the Detroit-based Mack Avenue Records. the CD was a return to his undiluted “straight-ahead” roots featuring alto/soprano saxophonist, Steve Wilson; vibraphonist, Warren Wolf; pianist, Eric Reed and drummer, Carl Allen.
His second release on the label was “Conversations with Christian” a recording of duets with McBride and some of his best friends and mentors – George Duke, Angelique Kidjo, Dr. Billy Taylor, Hank Jones, Chick Corea, Eddie Palmieri, Regina Carter, Ron Blake, Roy Hargrove and Russell Malone among many others.
In a stellar career that continues to showcase his remarkable talents as a consummate musician, bassist Christian reaches another milestone with the 2011 release of The Good Feeling, his first big band recording as a leader and newest release for Mack Avenue Records.
For over 20 years, McBride has appeared in numerous musical settings with just about any musician imaginable in the jazz as well as R&B and pop worlds. From playing with the likes of Milt Jackson, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny; to playing with and/or arranging for the likes of Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Lalah Hathaway, Sting and the legendary James Brown—what has always been unique about McBride is his versatility.« Back to Events