Ray Brown, John Clayton, Christian McBride : Super Bass

Recorded live, this bottom-dwelling album features the talents of three of the bass’ best. (Pianist Benny Green and drummer Gregory Hutchinson support on selected tracks.)

Sure, there’s a novelty aspect to Super Bass. After all, how often do figures of this stature get together professionally? About never. But it takes only a couple of tracks to realize that there’s an awful lot of music happening here-both on the parts of the individuals and the group as a whole. Sometimes the players pair off-as on “Bye, Bye Blackbird” (with Brown and McBride) and “Lullaby Of Birdland” (with Brown and Clayton). At other times, the threesome is backed by bass and drums or play unaccompanied. Regardless, the arrangements-which range from clever to brilliant-make good use of the instrument’s capabilities, including bow work on “Mack The Knife,” harmonics on “Lullaby,” and percussive effects on “Centerpiece.” A bass player’s delight, Super Bass has enough music to please just about everyone else.