Christian McBride: Little Sunflower
Christian McBride (bass)
Number Two Express (Verve 529585)
Composed by Freddie Hubbard.
Recorded: Recorded: November 12-17, 1995
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Bass solos suck. Let's face it, the ponderous, unwieldy instrument is meant to fill out the bottom like stuffing, not rise to the top like a soufflé. Released from their murky depths, plucked bass solos rumble more than resonate. Worse yet, bowed solos evoke a Popeye-the-Sailorman bass-sawing silliness. All of which makes this 4-minute, All-Bass-All-The-Time track hard to explain. Quite simply, it's a gas. Atop his pizzicato rhythm role, Christian McBride overdubs three arco parts (stereo-separated), plus fretless electric bass, giving us an unexpectedly light treat—rather like a soufflé after all. Toto, the bass is not in Kansas anymore.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz