It’s pretty hard to walk away from a Christian McBride performance without having a good time. The Philadelphia-born artist with a style that blends old-school swing with modern chops always seem to remind the listener of the power of music and its ability to connect to feelings – especially the good ones. If you’re a fan like we are, you may have seen and heard the three time Grammy Award-winning jazz bassist over the years by himself, in a trio, as a sideman, and a band leader. But his first big band album, appropriately named The Good Feeling, didn’t happen until 2011 when he won the Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance. So what is it exactly about McBride’s music that inspires that “good feeling?” And, how does that happen in big band form?
Anticipating the JLCO Hosts: Christian McBride & Kurt Rosenwinkel’s upcoming performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center, we came across this video that gives a bit of insight into McBride’s approach as it relates to big band. Now you know here at Revive we never tire of the big band sound and constantly look for ways to advance, celebrate, and reimagine the rich and dynamic sound that only a big band can produce. So, on this occasion, we wanted to take a minute to check out the story behind McBride’s first big band album.
“There are no real black and white rules to writing for big band, there are a bunch of different theories…As everyone knows, there’s so many different theories and so many different concepts and outlooks on what jazz is, what it has been, and what it can or will become. I try not to spend too much time thinking about things like that. You just want to write music and things that feel good to you as an artist.”
And we’re glad that he does. In 1995, McBride debuted “Bluesin at Alphabet City” at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Now, nearly 20 years later, we have another opportunity on Friday, May 23rd and Saturday, May 24th to hear McBride’s and Kurt Rosenwinkel’s original work presented by Musical Director Wynton Marsalis and drummer Ali Jackson together with the members of JLCO. We’re thrilled that the big band, an ensemble originating in the U.S., still thrives right here in NYC with some of the finest artists jazz has to offer today. We will be there and present!
In the meantime, spend some time with the album and get ready for a good time to be had by all!
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