McBride at the 2009 Detroit Jazz Festival
Photo: Brian Callahan
|Birth name||Christian Lee McBride|
|Born||May 31, 1972|
|Origin||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Genres||Jazz, jazz fusion|
|Instruments||Double bass, bass guitar|
|Labels||Verve, Warner Bros., Ropeadope, Mack Avenue|
Christian Lee McBride (born May 31, 1972) is an American jazz bassist. He is considered a virtuoso, and is one of the most recorded musicians of his generation; he has appeared on more than 300 recordings as a sideman. He is also a five-time Grammy award winner.
McBride has performed and recorded with a number of jazz musicians and ensembles, including Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Brad Mehldau, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Joe Henderson, Diana Krall, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Wynton Marsalis, Pat Martino, Hank Jones, Lewis Nash, Joshua Redman, and Ray Brown's "Superbass" with John Clayton, as well as with pop, hip-hop, and soul musicians like Sting, Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Isaac Hayes, The Roots, Queen Latifah, Kathleen Battle, Renee Fleming, Carly Simon, Bruce Hornsby, and James Brown.
McBride was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father, Lee Smith, and his great uncle, Howard Cooper, are well known Philadelphia bassists who served as McBride's early mentors.
Later life and career
McBride was heralded as a teen prodigy, having joined saxophonist Bobby Watson's group at the age of 17. From 17 to 22, McBride played in the bands of older musicians such as Watson, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Milt Jackson, J.J. Johnson and Hank Jones as well as his peers such as Roy Hargrove, Benny Green and Joshua Redman. In 1996, jazz bassist Ray Brown formed a group called "SuperBass" built around McBride and fellow Brown protégé John Clayton. The group released two CDs: SuperBass: Live at Scullers (1997) and SuperBass 2: Live at the Blue Note (2001).
McBride was a member of Joshua Redman's Quartet in the 1990s with pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer Brian Blade. In 1995 McBride began leading his own groups after his debut CD Gettin' To It (Verve Records) was released. Saxophonist Tim Warfield, pianists Charles Craig and Joey Calderazzo, and drummers Carl Allen and Greg Hutchinson are among the musicians who played in McBride's early groups. From 2000 to 2008, McBride fronted his own acoustic / electric, jazz, fusion and funk ensemble, "The Christian McBride Band" with saxophonist Ron Blake, pianist/keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer and drummer Terreon Gully. As writer Alan Leeds stated in 2003, it was "one of the most intoxicating, least predictable bands on the scene". The band released two CDs – Vertical Vision (Warner Brothers Records | 2003) and their Live at Tonic three-CD set was released in 2006.
McBride primarily plays double bass, but is equally adept on the electric bass. He played bass for the collaborative project The Philadelphia Experiment, which included keyboardist Uri Caine and hip-hop drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson. Other projects have included tours and recordings with the Pat Metheny Trio, the Bruce Hornsby Trio, and Queen Latifah. Like Paul Chambers, McBride can solo by playing his bass arco style.
In 2006, McBride was named to the position of "Creative Chair for Jazz" with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, taking over from Dianne Reeves. He was initially signed to a two-year contract that was subsequently renewed for an additional two years. He was eventually succeeded by Herbie Hancock in 2010.
McBride performed with Sonny Rollins and Roy Haynes at Carnegie Hall on September 18, 2007, in commemoration of Rollins' 50th anniversary of his first performance there. McBride was also tapped by CBS to be a producer for the tribute to Rollins on the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors broadcast.
In 2008, McBride joined John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Kenny Garrett and Vinnie Colaiuta in a jazz fusion supergroup called the Five Peace Band. They released a CD in February 2009 and completed their world tour in May of that year, as Brian Blade took over for Vinnie Colaiuta as drummer in Asia and some US concerts. The CD Five Peace Band Live won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
McBride leads five groups: "Inside Straight", featuring alto/soprano saxophonist Steve Wilson, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, pianist Peter Martin and drummer Carl Allen; a trio featuring pianist Christian Sands and drummer Jerome Jennings; his 18-piece big band; an experimental group called "A Christian McBride Situation" with pianist/keyboardist Patrice Rushen, turntablists DJ Logic and Jahi Sundance, saxophonist Ron Blake and vocalist Alyson Williams; and the "New Jawn", featuring trumpeter Josh Evans, saxophonist Marcus Strickland and drummer Nasheet Waits.
Christian is married to jazz singer and educator Melissa Walker. Walker, with contributions by McBride, leads the Jazz House Kids, a jazz school in their home town of Montclair, New Jersey. Each summer, they both appear at the Montclair Jazz Festival, along with student ensembles led by the instructors, professional ensembles composed of instructors, and guest acts.
McBride shared the story of his first encounters with Freddie Hubbard, "The Gig", and his relationship with James Brown "Mr. Soul On Top" on the Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour, a radio show and podcast devoted to story-telling.
An asterisk (*) indicates that the year is that of release.
|1994||Gettin' to It||Verve|
|1995||Number Two Express||Verve|
|1998||A Family Affair||Verve|
|2000||The Philadelphia Experiment||Ropeadope|
|2002||Vertical Vision||Warner Bros.|
|2005||Live at Tonic||Ropeadope|
|2009*||Kind of Brown||Mack Avenue|
|2011*||The Good Feeling||Mack Avenue|
|2011*||Conversations with Christian||Mack Avenue|
|2013*||People Music||Mack Avenue|
|2013*||Out Here||Mack Avenue|
|2015*||Live at the Village Vanguard||Mack Avenue|
- It's Christmas on Mack Avenue (Mack Avenue, 2014)
with Gary Bartz
With Regina Belle
- Lazy Afternoon (2004)
With Chris Botti
With Don Braden
- After Dark (1994)
- With James Carter
- Heaven on Earth (Half Note, 2009)
With Chick Corea
- Remembering Bud Powell (1997)
- Rendezvous in New York (2002)
- Super Trio: Corea/Gadd/McBride (2006)
- Chillin' In Chelan (2007)
- Five Peace Band (with John McLaughlin) (2009) - GRAMMY WINNER
- Trilogy (2013) - GRAMMY WINNER
With George Duke
With Joseph Tawadros
- Permission to Evaporate (2014)
With Benny Green
- Greens (1991)
- Testifyin': Live at the Village Vanguard (1992)
- That's Right! (1992)
- The Place To Be (1994)
- These Are Soulful Days (1999)
- Naturally (2000)
With Roy Hargrove
- Public Eye (1991)
- Family (1995)
With Joe Henderson
- Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (1992) – GRAMMY WINNER
- Double Rainbow: The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim (1995)
- Big Band (1996)
With Bruce Hornsby
- Camp Meeting (2007)
With Freddie Hubbard
- Live at Fat Tuesday's (1992)
- God Bless the Child (1998)
With Hank Jones
- West of 5th (Chesky, 2006)
With Diana Krall
- Only Trust Your Heart (1995)
- Love Scenes (1997)
- The Look of Love (2001)
- Live in Paris (2002)
- The Girl in the Other Room (2004)
- Wallflower (2015)
With Queen Latifah
- Trav'lin' Light (2008)
With Joe Lovano
With Harold Mabern
With Paul McCartney
With Brad Mehldau
- Introducing Brad Mehldau (Warner Bros., 1995)
With Joshua Redman
With David Sanborn
With Yutaka Shiina
- United (1998)
With Jimmy Smith
With Craig Taborn
With McCoy Tyner
- Prelude and Sonata (1995)
- What the World Needs Now: The Music of Burt Bacharach (1997)
- Illuminations (McCoy Tyner album) (2004) – GRAMMY WINNER
- Quartet (McCoy Tyner album) (2007)
With Cedar Walton
With Michael Wolff
- Jumpstart (1995)
- 2AM (1997)
- Archived April 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Yanow, Scott. "Christian McBride: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- "Christian McBride bio" (PDF). Los Angeles Philharmonic. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
- "Garnegie Hall official website". Carnegiehall.org. Retrieved 2011-07-17.
- The Moth, February 10, 2011.
- Official website
- Mack Avenue Artist Page
- Chris M. Slawecki, "Christian McBride Throws Down", AllAboutJazz, May 23, 2006. Retrieved September 28, 2007
- David Miller, "Live at Tonic", AllAboutJazz.com, May 21, 2006. Retrieved August 11, 2007
- Donald True Van Deusen, "Christian McBride: Bass Beautiful" AllAboutJazz, October 6, 2004 Retrieved August 11, 2007
- Todd S. Jenkins, "The Philadelphia Experiment", AllAboutJazz.com, July 1, 2001. Retrieved August 11, 2007
- Nate Chinen, "A Situation Is Brewing, Acoustic and Fierce", New York Times, June 28, 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2009
- Christian McBride Band MySpace Page
- Conversation With Christian McBride, 10/01/2007
- Christian McBride telling a story entitled "The Gig" on The Moth podcast
- Conversation with Christian McBride - State of Mind, April 2006
- Interview with Christian McBride for the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Program July 18, 2015