Thursday, April 18, 2013

Christian McBride & Inside Straight People Music Mack Ave. 2013

Smooth as silk, there is an undeniable swag wired directly into any McBride recording and the Grammy to his big band record may be his best yet . Naturally this is Christian's joint but the ensemble cast assembled can at times surpass McBride with a hard driving swing that is bound only by imagination.

Wrap your brain around that.

A Perfect example is the work done by Steve Wilson on "Ms. Angelou." Wilson's improvisational skills reinforce the notion he may just be the most underrated alto player today. Keeping the groove alive we find drummers Carl Allen and Ulysses Owens Jr. McBride comes out swinging with his keen sense of melody on the opener "Listen To The Heroes Cry" and Warren Wolf pushes the new vibe sound to the next level. Peter Martin and Christian Sands are both used on piano and the harmonic differential adds nothing but flavor. The contemporary oriented track New Hope's Angel while done in a minor key is another shot for Wolf to shine and the straight ahead harmonic progression is off the charts. As a follow up to McBride's Grammy winning big band record The Good Feeling, the feeling carries on.

People music would seem to be a autobiographical in nature. Unlike some artists, McBride does not need to take out ad space or try and create a movement that had no chance of getting off the ground. Instead we find Christian McBride and Inside Straight pushing the music forward and allow us to become part of the band. Nice.

Being a critic is far more than being critical it is celebrating the unification of art with the artist.

I'll go all in on Christian McBride & Inside Straight with People Music.

U.S. Release May 14, 2013

Tracks: Listen To The Heroes Cry; Fair Hope Theme; Gang Gang; Ms. Angelou; The Movement, Revisited; Unusual Suspects; Dream Train; New Hope's Angel.

Personnel: Christian McBride: acoustic bass; Peter Martin: piano; Carl Allen: drums; Steve Wilson: alto sax (soprano sax on Ms. Angelou; Warren Wolf: vibes; Christian Sands: piano; Ulysses Owens Jr.: drums.