|Bassist Christian McBride and his band go to the outer limits, boldly stretching and soaring on his Verve release, "Sci Fi." McBride describes this release as an acoustic fusion recording. The bassist appears to have a true love, respect and appreciation for a wide range of musical styles. Opening up this CD McBride steps out with a smooth well arranged take on the Steely Dan track, "Aja". I love the way he works the jazz feel with the great electric guitar work by David Gilmore. One does not normally associate electric guitar on such a jazzy track but it works quite well here. This made me want to dig up the original.|
McBride describes "Uhura's Moment Returned," as a combination of the "Star Trek" theme and Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments." McBride coolly underscores this composition with some mean groove inducing walking on bass behind Shedrick Mitchell's piano solo, before letting loose on a well timed solo himself. McBride joined Mark Whitfield and Nicholas Payton on a fine recording of "Fingerpainting: The Music of Herbie Hancock. Hancock also makes a great contribution here on McBride's composition "Xerxes". "Lullaby for a Ladybug" features vocalese from Dianne Reeves. Hancock's accompaniment moves this playful nursery type track.
McBride is at home on both acoustic and electric bass. He enjoys flexing both his jazz and funk chops on this recording. On tracks "Science Fiction" and Sting's "Walking On the Moon," McBride goes electric. On the former, Rodney Green drives the rolling groove on drums as McBride takes you on a fun Sci-Fi ride. James Carter lending a hand on this track motivated by the movie "he Matrix" McBride's bass takes a deep, haunting out of this world feel on "Walking On the Moon." McBride then pays homage to legendary fusion bassists Jaco Pastorius on "Havona" and Stanley Clarke on "Butterfly Dreams."
McBride has a tremendous track record developing as both a leader and a side-man. Recording great updates of pop, funk and fusion recordings, McBride, just under 30 years young, appears to have a chance of creating new levels and new standard tunes for bass and for jazz bands. With the release of "Sci Fi" he appears to say, I want to take you higher. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.