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Christian McBride: Live at Tonic

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Christian McBride
Christian McBride

Last year began and ended funky for Christian McBride. We’ll move backward: the bassist bade farewell to 2005 by hanging out in a dressing room with none other than the Godfather of Funk, James Brown. He kicked off the year in similar style, presiding over two nights of guest-laden grooves at Tonic, the Lower East Side’s new-music HQ.

The backstage hang with J.B. has yet to bear any musical fruit-McBride coyly hints in his online journal that something’s coming-but the other confab can now be heard on this Ropeadope release, in all of its shambling glory. The three-CD Live at Tonic offers an almost unmitigated experience; befitting the jam band crowd that the album openly courts, it has a soundboard-to-bootleg vibe.

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