Monday, August 12, 2013

CD Review - "People Music" - Christian McBride | Inside Straight

If there were such a thing as "comfort music" for jazz lovers, it would have to be the idiom(s) loosely known as straight ahead jazz, bop, hard bop, or post bop. Christian McBride is more than comfortable in all those formats. He stays busy as a sideman in constant demand, his big band, the “Situation”, and a number of other projects. 

This is his combo alignment, Inside Straight, and he serves up healthy portions of it on his latest release "People Music". The quintet features saxophonist Steve Wilson, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, pianist Peter Martin and drummer Carl Allen. Pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr., who have performed extensively with the band, also perform on selected tracks. That comfort feeling sets in from the opening track, "Listen To The Heroes Cry". On this sophomore release the band demonstrates just how well they connect with each other. Solo turns compliment and carry each tune on a joy ride. Yes, the leader plays bass, but don't expect him to be out front all the time, or carry most of the weight as soloist. Yes, he takes his moments, but by and large, it’s a showcase for the entire group. 

The tribute piece, "Ms. Angelou"' is a beautiful soft ballad featuring both piano and vibes. Then comes the fiery "The Moment Revisited". McBride cuts these young horses loose, each one taking turns at the lead, before drummer brings it all home to a photo finish. Through the eight tracks, there's an awful lot to like on what truly can be called People Music.
#jazz @mcbridesworld

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