Entertainment Weekly - 9/24/00, p.79
"...A young jazzman with astonishing instrumental gifts and his own ideas about what constitutes the usable jazz tradition..." - Rating: B
CMJ - 9/4/00, p.29
"...The vibe is straight-up modern bop, but SCI-FI's moodiness makes it simmer."
Down Beat - 12/00, p.784.5 stars out of 5
- "...A well-paced program...centering the overall sound around his constant, time-perfect acoustic bass, painting the core with justly measured splashes of electric bass, Fender Rhodes and keyboard effects..."
JazzTimes - 10/00, pp.92-3
"...Showcases more of his own burgeoning composition talents....it's his most focused and delightful album yet."
Mojo (Publisher) - 11/00, p.105
"...Muscular contemporary jazz....there's not an ounce of waste. A marvellous, expansive album."
Christian McBride Band: Christian McBride (Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards, acoustic & electric basses); Ron Blake (soprano & tenor saxophones); Shedrick Mitchell (acoustic & Fender Rhodes pianos); Rodney Green (drums).
Additional personnel: Dianne Reeves (vocals); James Carter (bass clarinet); Toots Thielemans (harmonica); Herbie Hancock (piano); David Gilmore (acoustic & electric guitars).
Recorded at Avatar Studios, New York, New York from February 10-12, 2000. Includes liner notes by Christian McBride.
Personnel: Christian McBride (keyboards, acoustic bass, electric bass); Dianne Reeves (vocals); David Gilmore (guitar); James Carter (bass clarinet); Ron Blake (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Herbie Hancock (piano); Rodney Green (drums).
What happens when musicians interested in expanding the vocabulary and repertoire of jazz beyond the hard-bop/post-bop canon are also involved in getting as much of their sound as possible out of acoustic and analog instruments? With musicians like Christian McBride around, we get to find out.
Case in point: this band's arrangement of the Police's "Walking on the Moon" is anything but cheesy. As drummer Rodney Green keeps up a steady late-night sizzle on the cymbals, the leader phrases the melody in harmonics on electric bass, while James Carter provides an obbligato on bass clarinet, and David Gilmour fills in with rolling acoustic guitar arpeggios. It's completely hypnotic, and there's nary a sample in sight. When the keyboards do surface, on the title track, they're still underpinned by McBride's fat-bottomed upright and Green's insistent, everywhere-at-once traps, and saxophonist Ron Blake breaks away for a solo over a relentlessly hard-swinging groove.