September 26, 1995 |
When his debut album, Gettin' to It (Verve), was released earlier this year, Philadelphia-bred bassist Christian McBride went from solid supporting player to front man. The transition can trouble some musicians, but as the first of two homecoming shows Sunday at Zanzibar Blue demonstrated, McBride has grown into the role. He's still a solid anchor, but now, having done his time in the background, he's become a champion of the bass, working to fully utilize its melodic potential.
May 11, 1996 |
At the ripe age of 23, bassist Christian McBride is revered for his rock-solid sense of tempo and a sound that commands respect for an instrument generally considered the quiet foot soldier of the jazz ensemble. Wednesday at the Theatre of Living Arts, in a poorly attended homecoming gig, McBride showed that he's become a fine soloist as well. Concentrating on original compositions from his just-issued second album, Number Two Express (Verve), McBride more than held his own with pianist Joey Calderazzo, drummer Gregory Hutchinson and hometown tenor man Tim Warfield, and transformed the usually sleepy bass solo into an exercise in drama.
October 3, 2014 |
Correction: The original article labeled saxophonist Ron Blake incorrectly. FOR A GUY who grew up and got his musical act together in Philly, Christian McBride hasn't been hanging with the homies much. "I haven't been in town as a headliner since 2011," he shared the other day. "We're long overdue. " This weekend, the three-time Grammy winning bassist/composer/band leader and ace sideman is making up for lost time and missed "thank you's" with an eye-and-ear-opening quadruple header at the Clef Club.
February 4, 2013 |
Performers at the inaugural Monterey Jazz Festival in 1958 included such greats as Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, and Louis Armstrong. Nearly every notable name from the last half-century of jazz history has graced the stages at California's Monterey County Fairgrounds, making it one of the world's longest-running and most renowned jazz festivals. How to represent that impressive legacy in a touring show? The festival made all the right choices in assembling a stellar ensemble of all-stars to celebrate its 55th anniversary, entrusting its direction to Philly's own Christian McBride.
March 15, 2008 |
Christian McBride, the wunderkind bassist, is finally having a middle-aged thought. The leading jazz bassist of his generation wishes he weren't on the road so much. Speaking by phone the other day after a snowstorm in Santa Fe, N.M., McBride said he's keen to spend more time at home in Montclair, N.J., even when the plumbing breaks. "We had one of the pipes in the laundry room just fall off the wall, and there was water shooting all over the place," said McBride, 35, who lives there with his wife, jazz singer Melissa Walker.
October 3, 2014 |
'Three years is too long for me not to play in my hometown. " So said Christian McBride speaking by phone en route to a gig on Long Island. The impossibly in-demand bassist is almost constantly heading off to another gig. To be sure, he has appeared on local stages during that time. He took part in the all-star Monterey Jazz Festival 55th Anniversary band at the Merriam Theater early last year, and he sat in with a group of gifted high schoolers from the Thelonious Monk Institute at Chris' Jazz Cafe a year earlier.
October 29, 2014 |
FEATURE FILMS are often accompanied these days by a companion documentary that's spoon-fed first to an HBO or Showtime - a marketing ploy to get folks excited about the movie. Clearly, Alex Gibney's two-hours-short documentary, "Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown," debuting tonight at 9 on HBO, was made in the same time frame as the recent James Brown biopic "Get On Up. " But Mick Jagger, producer of both projects (and a lifelong fan of Brown) opted to hold back the doc, first dishing the dramatized version (with Chadwick Boseman as Soul Brother No. 1)
September 26, 1997 |
Pianist Herbie Hancock is a masterful composer, and since making his mark in 1962 with his debut "Takin' Off," he has become one of the most pliable, prolific and respected musicians in jazz. At 57, Hancock has seen several of his tunes already become jazz standards. His pieces contain easily recognizable melodies, built from complex ideas: they are fun to listen to, but challenging to play well. Indeed, Hancock took flak for delving into fusion and derivative R&B, but he never left his straight-ahead roots.
October 15, 2009 |
Of all the fine jazz musicians to emerge from Philadelphia in the last two decades, Christian McBride plays a uniquely multifaceted role, as a bassist but also a broadcaster, educator, curator, and jazz advocate. This year, he's been marking his 20th year in the business - and one way of doing that, knitting together the varied strands of his creative life, is with a show at the Kimmel Center tomorrow, billed as "Christian McBride and Friends. " "It seemed like the perfect time for a tip of the cap to my hometown," he said by phone from Montclair, N.J., where he lives.
April 14, 1994 |
In my sometime role as this newspaper's designated pipeline to and from the world of jazz, I have waited out seven years of Mellon PSFS Jazz Festivals to see my nominee for a jazz star associated with Philadelphia announced for dedicatory honors. The honored musician at this year's June 8-19 Mellonfest will be the late Lee Morgan, the young trumpet champion who roared out of this rowhouse metropolis in the '50s and '60s to become an international idol, only to leave us prematurely in 1972 under tragic circumstances.