Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Christian McBride & Inside Straight: People Music

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

As one of the highest-profile workaholics in jazz-is there ever a night when this guy isn’t playing with someone, somewhere?-it’s a wonder bassist Christian McBride can find the time to make leader recordings at all. Following a one-off big-band outing, this is his second with Inside Straight, the acoustic quintet he formed in 2009. Like that year’s Kind of Brown, People Music feels like a mental reboot, an opportunity for McBride to call the shots on his own terms with some handpicked compadres.

There are actually two different Inside Straights here: The constants are McBride, vibraphonist Warren Wolf and alto saxophonist Steve Wilson. Drummer Carl Allen (who appeared on the debut) and pianist Peter Martin are on six of the eight tracks; they’re replaced by pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. on the remaining two. It’s that latter lineup-the new Christian McBride Trio-that kicks things off with McBride’s “Listen to the Heroes Cry,” a springy showcase that affords Sands, Wilson and Wolf ample solo space and establishes the band’s propensity for investigating the outer reaches of a melody, a setup that’s largely repeated on Sands’ “Dream Train,” this configuration’s other contribution.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published