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Christian McBride Trio: Sophisticated Lady

Christian McBride is one bad dude. Here’s a jaw-dropping video of his trio performing the Ellington standard “Sophisticated Lady” live at the Festival de Jazz San Javier in 2009. The bassist kicks things off with an extended solo take on the song’s melody before bringing in the rest of the band.

McBride pulls out all the stops with colorful flourishes of notes, tasteful counterpoint lines, and ringing harmonics to pull the emotion out of the instrument.

The trio is filled out by Peter Martin on piano and Ulysses Owens on drums. The group’s interaction and soulful playing makes this 12-minute ballad seem to go by so quickly.