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Christian McBride, Live

Christian McBride, Live

Christian McBride | Live at Tonic [Ropeadope Records, 2006] Revisited

Ropeadope Records dropped a bomb with bassist Christian McBride’s three-disc release title “Live @ Tonic” recorded at Manhattan’s Tonic Club back in January 2006.

From the first spin, this adventure by McBride encapsulates the essence of what jazz is all about by embracing the freedom of expression! McBride and ensemble intensely swings with an infectious attitude while attached to funk induced rhythms of James Brown while infusing the symmetry of jazz-fusion masked by the band’s astounding play!

  • Geoffrey Keezer – keyboards
  • Terreon Gully – drums
  • Ron Blake – saxophones

Disc one contains the best takes of the two nights jammed packed into one fascinating live recording! The aforementioned player’s joins McBride on the first two selections “Technicolor Nightmare, & Say Something” setting the pace for jazz-fusion lovers and music enthusiast alike to indulge in with pleasure!

On this mind gripping three nights occasion McBride and his band graces the audience with eight more riveting compositions and with an additional lineup of musicians as guests accompanying him on Disc 2:

  • Charlie Hunter – guitar
  • Jason Moran – piano
  • Jennifer Schienman – violin

As noted in caption: Disc 2 is primarily from night one of McBride and his ensembles performance at the Tonic Club. The groove on “See Jam, Hear Jam, Feel Jam,” is established early on with drummer Gully and McBride in a duo setting for the first four minutes and fifty seconds until the introduction of guitarist Charlie Hunter. He comes on board kickin’ it with seriously funky guitar licks are a near perfect additive. At the 10:34 mark on “See Jam, Hear Jam, Feel Jam,” Houston, Texas native Jason Moran is invited to jam with the band as he works the ivories like no bodies business with buoyant execution. McBride also calls on for the first time newcomer, violinist Jennifer Schienman to play with the glowing precision of a veteran performer! Finally on this track, McBride summons brother Ron Blake to play Baritone saxophone.

In retrospect disc-three is reminiscent of late sixties early seventies recordings in reference to recording time length Disc 3.

  • Dj Logic [turntables]
  • Scratch [beat box]
  • Eric Krasno [guitars]
  • Rashawn Ross [trumpet]

For a moment reflect on this, with titles like “E Jam, Ab Minor, S Shuffle Jam and D Shuffle Jam [part 2]” sums up this magnificent performance by Christian McBride and his exceptional cast of talented players.

If you’ve followed McBride’s career you know that he’s equally proficient on both acoustic and electric basses, therefore making him one of the most in demand bassist in modern music. And to top it off, he’s called whose whom of supreme players to breathe life into his music!

For anyone looking for a set of cozy, polite jazz to cuddle up to by the fireplace, bedroom or pool with a glass of wine chances is this record is probably not for you. With that said, as in anything jazz related it’s a matter of taste. Because of its seemingly fusion induced chaotic nature jazz traditionalist might avoid “Live @ Tonic” by McBride?

In conclusion, fusion and modern jazz enthusiast will simply adore this recording. It’s live music at it’s best! For those of you who wish to expand your listening space, prepare yourself for a hafty serving of seriously tasty modern jazz with this three-disc collection of superbly performed music by the Christian McBride and company should satisfy your hunger for intense and fresh music.