Christian McBride: Theme for Kareem


Theme for Kareem


Christian McBride & Inside Straight


Kind of Brown

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Christian McBride (bass), Carl Allen (drums),

Steve Wilson (alto sax), Eric Scott Reed (piano), Warren Wolf, Jr. (vibes)


Composed by Freddie Hubbard


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

At the annual bass players convention, the meeting divides into two camps. The melodic, play-bass-like-a-big-guitar contingent gathers under the portrait of Scott LaFaro, while the swing-it-with-a-big-sound advocates collect next to the statue of Ray Brown. Okay, I'm not sure if Christian McBride was announcing his affiliation when he named his new CD Kind of Brown, but if you have doubts where he is aligned, just listen to this track. I love his sense of propulsion, a greenhouse-gas-free source of energy that I hope never runs out. He takes a song written by the late, great Freddie Hubbard and convinces you it was really meant to be a bass feature. With all due respect to soloists Wolf and Wilson, the rhythm section here is the star of the show. You could put Jack Benny on violin in front of this churning, burning threesome, and he would start placing in the Downbeat poll. Notch up two sky hook points for the Brown team.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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