Christian Mcbride - Live At The Village Vanguard
Label: MACK AVENUE
Christian McBride & Inside Straight Live at the Village Vanguard is the twelfth Christian McBride release on the Mack Avenue Music Group label. This recording can be considered a companion piece to the 2015 GRAMMY®-winning album Christian McBride Trio Live At The Village Vanguard. Inside Straight is the quintet with which McBride began his association with Mack Avenue Records (Kind of Brown was released in 2009). Both live recordings of the bassist leading these two ensembles were made over a two-week period in December 2014 - a rare engagement that America's most prestigious jazz club offers only to the most renowned jazz artists. There is no doubt that McBride is one of the most versatile musicians on the scene today. His artistry has been documented in recordings and performances with a wide variety of musicians in the most diverse contexts and genres imaginable. His collaborations range from duets with respected classical bassist Edgar Meyer and avant-garde composer/violinist Laurie Anderson, to performances with cult artists such as Sting and James Brown, to ensembles with fellow Philadelphia native Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson of the hip- Hop/Neo-Soul band The Roots, not to mention a host of jazz masters including Sonny Rollins and Freddie Hubbard, Pat Metheny and the late Chick Corea. Indeed, it was this nomadic journey that inspired McBride to return to leading a more conventional, straight-ahead acoustic jazz ensemble. So in 2007, McBride recruited his former bandmate from Freddie Hubbard's group, drummer Carl Allen, saxophonist Steve Wilson, pianist Eric Reed (who was later replaced by Peter Martin), and an amazing young musical prodigy to join McBride's Jazz at Aspen, Colorado, summer camp program, vibraphonist Warren Wolf. They played for a week at the Village Vanguard with the intention that eachmusician would return to their respective other projects at the end of that engagement. But the entire week was sold out. The owner of the Vanguard, Lorraine Gordon, who had very high standards and a reputation for not being easily pleased, was beside herself. Legendary A&R executive Bruce Lundvall, who had come in to hear the band after attending a Ron Carter concert at Carnegie Hall, sat down with McBride after the performance and confirmed in conversation with the bassist that this ensemble was something special. About six months later, McBride signed with Mack Avenue Records. Although the Inside Straight Band has made two studio recordings for Mack Avenue Records, Kind of Brown and People Music, the band has yet to release a live recording - the milieu in which this ensemble was originally formed. The album features compositions from three of the five band members. The album opens with a stirring performance of Warren Wolf's soulful piece "Sweet Bread" and includes his vibraphone feature "Gang Gang" later in the set. Alto and soprano saxophonist Steve Wilson contributes a paean to Maya Angelou. The remaining compositions are by McBride, two of which similarly pay tribute to the work of jazz greats James Williams and Cedar Walton and provide fertile ground for the aforementioned accomplished pianist Peter Martin. The other two McBride pieces, "Fair Hope Theme" and "Stick And Move," feature the quintet in powerful, deep swing with rapidly changing rhythmic and harmonic phrasing that kept the Village Vanguard audience on its toes. November 2021 marks the 64th anniversary of Sonny Rollins' very first live recording from the Village Vanguard. It's a high point in any musician's career when they perform and become part of a commercial release recorded live at the Village Vanguard. You only have to listen to one of the legendary recordings made there, from Rollins and John Coltrane to Barbra Streisand, to hear the Magic that emanates from these performances. With the exception of 2020, the Inside Straight Quintet has played the Village Vanguard every year since 2009. With Christian McBride & Inside Straight Live At The Village Vanguard, music fans around the world finally have a chance to hear what all the fuss is about.