I’m not sure bassist Christian McBride ever sleeps. Out Here is his second album released this year--well, second as a leader. He also plays on trombonist Michael Dease’s latest, Coming Home. So, that’s three total. Plus, it’s not like he just makes the albums and then does nothing. He tours, teaches, speaks, and gigs. So, really—does he sleep?
“Ham Hocks and Cabbage” is a great opening track to this trio record. It’s laid back, it’s a great groove, and it makes you feel good. “Hallelujah Time” kicks things into high gear and let’s pianist Christian Sands show what he can do. McBride also takes a nice solo, breaking out his bow in fine form. Drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. isn’t bad, either. His brush work brings to mind a soft-shoe trip around the dance floor. He could probably play drums with a rolled-up newspaper and make it sound good.
You’ll like the standards on this record; McBride picked some good ones. He opens “East of the Sun” with a nice, easily plucked melody solo, and contrasts it with the “no-more-mister-nice-guy” intensity on the opening lines of “Cherokee.”
I heard Gary Vercelli say once that McBride is “everyone’s favorite bassist.” I agree. With an album like Out Here, why on earth wouldn’t he be?
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