Christian McBride recently sat down with the folks at AllAboutJazz.com and spoke on a huge number of topics, and all in one interview. He speaks everything from his ideas of composition, putting together a CD, and even how he feels about playing with a bow.
While an amazing player, McBride says he wishes he had more composing abilities, and that he felt composing is a learned art that musicians need to work on over time.
“The whole concept of composing is one that I still don’t have a firm grasp on yet. I do a fair job of it, I guess, but being around someone like Chick Corea or Wayne Shorter or Pat Metheny, these guys are so prolific, they write music all the time, especially Chick. He can write you a symphony in like an hour because he is so used to being creative, sitting down on the piano and actually writing music.” he continues,”It’s a skill, you have to do it every day, just like everything else, you have to develop it and hone it.”
McBride has been heard playing a great deal of electric bass lately, but says that he still has his love for upright. Playing upright for him is a very grounded and solid thing, he says. “The acoustic bass is Mother Earth. That is the instrument that gives birth to all music, I believe. Somebody once said in an interview that, it resonated with me and it seems very, very true.” He says, “I would pick the acoustic bass, because it’s wood, it’s big, it’s natural, it’s organic, it’s of the Earth, and it’s Mother Nature.”
The amount of knowledge and experience that is conveyed through this interview is astounding, and not all of it is about being a bassist. McBride explains his feelings of what he is first, bassist, teacher, or band leader. He says none of the above, he is a person first, and all of those titles are just “things” that he does. “I heard this interview that Herbie Hancock gave not too long ago, and he was talking about his Buddhist philosophy…” Continuing,”..the point that Herbie was trying to make is that he always thought of himself as a musician first. And at some point he realized that he is not a musician first, he is a person first. Herbie said he realized that he is a lot of things, and musician is just one of the things on that list. He says, “I’m a friend, I’m a son, I’m a neighbor, I’m a father, I’m a mentor, I’m a musician.
So being a musician is one and the same with all of that. So out of the different hats I wear this is just one big, you know, fedora.”
Check out the complete article, which includes even more amazing and enlightening information, on AllAboutJazz.com.