Christian McBride & Inside Straight: People Music

Bassist Christian McBride is on an artistic roll, having released a collection of duets and big band albums, toured with the Monterrey Jazz All Stars, and still finds time to work with his regular trio, and in this case, his working Inside Straight. Consisting of two units with either Peter Martin-Christian Sands/p, Carl Allen-Ulysses Owens Jr/dr along with the front line of Steve Wilson/as and Warren Wolf/vibes, McBride’s team delivers snapping and exciting music that reminds you of the days when Blue Note and Fantasy would  put out consistently exciting stuff like this all the time. Now it’s as rare as an honest politician, so when one shows up, you’ve got to take notice!

The mix of piano, bass, drums and vibes joyously bounce around like a pinball  parlor on snapping tunes like “Fair Hope Theme” and “Listen to the Heroes Cry.” Wilson’s alto cuts through the percussion discussions like a Cold Steel knife on “Gang Gang” and also gets a bit soft and delicate with his soprano on “Ms. Angelou.” McBride’s bass is as rich as the La Brea Tar Pit as he pushes and  pulls the team like salt water taffy on “Usual Suspects,” and the band works as a cohesive team on the glowing “New Hope’s Angel.” Sometimes, you forget music can sound this fresh!

Mack Avenue Jazz

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