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, big band|
|Instruments||Double bass, bass guitar|
|Labels||Verve, Warner Bros., Ropeadope, Mack Avenue|
Christian Lee McBride (born May 31, 1972) is an American jazz bassist, composer and arranger. 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 six-time Grammy award winner.
McBride has performed and recorded with a number of jazz musicians and ensembles, including Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Joe Henderson, Diana Krall, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Palmieri, Joshua Redman, and Ray Brown's "SuperBass" with John Clayton, as well as with pop, hip-hop, soul and classical 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 to Renee McBride 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 age 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 with McBride and fellow Brown protégé John Clayton. The group released two albums: SuperBass: Live at Scullers (1997) and SuperBass 2: Live at the Blue Note (2001).
McBride was a member of saxophonist Joshua Redman's Quartet in the early 1990s with pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer Brian Blade. McBride began leading his own groups in 1995 after the release of his debut album Gettin' to It (Verve). 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 led his own ensemble, the Christian McBride Band, with saxophonist Ron Blake, pianist/keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer, and drummer Terreon Gully. The band released two albums: Vertical Vision (Warner Bros., 2003) and Live at Tonic (Ropeadope, 2006).
McBride primarily plays double bass, but he is equally adept on bass guitar. He played both on the album 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 signed to a two-year contract that was renewed for an additional two years. He was 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 an album 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 album 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 in "The Gig" and his relationship with James Brown in "Mr. Soul On Top" on The 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||*2012 GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST LARGE JAZZ ENSEMBLE RECORDING|
|2011*||Conversations with Christian||Mack Avenue|
|2013*||People Music||Mack Avenue|
|2013*||Out Here||Mack Avenue|
|2015*||Live at the Village Vanguard||Mack Avenue||*2016 GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST IMPROVISED JAZZ SOLO (Cherokee)|
|2017*||Bringin' It||Mack Avenue||*2018 GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST LARGE JAZZ ENSEMBLE RECORDING|
- It's Christmas on Mack Avenue (Mack Avenue, 2014)
with Gary Bartz
With Regina Belle
- Lazy Afternoon (2004)
With Peter Bernstein
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 Teddy Edwards
- Tango in Harlem (Verve/Gitanes, 1994)
With Ricky Ford
- Hot Brass (Muse, 1991)
With Frank Foster
- Leo Rising (Arabesque, 1997)
With Benny Green
- Greens (1991)
- Testifyin': Live at the Village Vanguard (1992)
- That's Right! (1992)
- The Place To Be (Blue Note, 1994)
- These Are Soulful Days (1999)
- Naturally (2000)
With Roy Hargrove
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
With Etta Jones
- Reverse the Charges (Muse, 1992)
With Hank Jones
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)
- Turn Up the Quiet (2017)
With Queen Latifah
- Trav'lin' Light (2008)
With Joe Lovano
With Harold Mabern
- Lookin' on the Bright Side (DIW, 1993)
- The Leading Man (DIW, 1993)
- Mabern's Grooveyard (DIW, 1996)
- Maya with Love (DIW)
With Paul McCartney
With Brad Mehldau
- Introducing Brad Mehldau (Warner Bros., 1995)
With Mulgrew Miller
- Hand in Hand (Novus, 1992)
With Chris Potter
- Presenting Chris Potter (Criss Cross Jazz, 1993)
With Joshua Redman
With Wallace Roney
With David Sanborn
With Yutaka Shiina
- United (1998)
With Jimmy Smith
With Craig Taborn
With Joseph Tawadros
- Permission to Evaporate (2014)
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)
With John Zorn
- Flaga: Book of Angels Volume 27 (Tzadik, 2016)
With Eddie Palmieri
- Listen Here! (2005)
-  Archived April 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Yanow, Scott. "Christian McBride: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- Alder, David R. "Philadelphia Experiment". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- "Christian McBride bio" (PDF). Los Angeles Philharmonic. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 26, 2008. 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