Christian McBride is keeping busy. The bassist has a new trio and they’ve released his second studio album of the year, Out Here.
Joined by pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr., Out Here offers McBride’s smallest group in three years.
“It’s a pretty diversified trio,” McBride says. “The real core foundation is hardcore swingin’, blues and the American songbook. Part of that is because [pianist] Christian [Sands] is so well-rounded and willing to go to so many places, that I can’t help but want to swing hard with him and Ulysses.”
But McBride never thought he’d lead a trio. When the bassist hit the scene at the age of 17, people already began to draw comparisons of him to bass legend Ray Brown. Brown of course had his own trio for years, and McBride wanted to avoid any more comparisons. McBride ended up performing with Brown in the 1990’s as part of the group known as Superbass, with Brown serving as both mentor and father figure to McBride.
But in 2009, McBride’s group Inside Straight had a date where two of the five members were absent – saxophonist Steve Wilson and vibraphonist Warren Wolf. McBride opted not to replace the musicians for the show with the trio of pianist Peter Martin and drummer Owens – who has become a mainstay on drums for McBride lately.
“Ulysses and I have a closely formed musical relationship, where we know one another’s time and feel very well,” McBride shares. “I think he’s picking up the tradition after Lewis Nash. I love his combination of technique and artistry.”
Out Here is McBride’s eleventh album as a leader. He’s also appeared on over 300 dates as a sideman, including performances with Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Roy Haynes, John McLaughlin and Kenny Garrett and more.
His bandmates are both younger than the 41-year old McBride, but there are differences with them and many other younger musicians, according to McBride.
“My trio seems to be an anomaly these days,” says McBride. “I find myself, when listening to young guys on the scene, it’s very musically clever, but I’m not feeling that kind of soul satisfaction that I felt at one time. There was a time when the young guys took pride in paying tribute to the masters but still keeping their own identity and remaining within their own generation.”
Out Here Track List:
- Ham Hocks and Cabbage
- Hallelujah Time
- I Guess I’ll Have to Forget
- Easy Walker
- My Favorite Things
- East of the Sun (And West of the Moon)
- I Have Dreamed
- Who’s Making Love