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Christian McBride|For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver

For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver

Christian McBride Big Band

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Christian McBride's latest big band session travels back to an incredible moment in 1966 when organist Jimmy Smith, guitarist Wes Montgomery and arranger Oliver Nelson gathered at Rudy Van Gelder's studio for a hard-swinging and ever-so-slightly unconventional big band summit meeting; all were operating at peak creativity. It was the first-ever collaboration between Smith and Montgomery, and the resulting albums (The Dynamic Duo and The Further Adventures Of…) were bursting with feats of highwire soloistic daredevilry. Nelson was the stealth MVP of the date. His arrangements—particularly "Down By The Riverside" and "Milestones"—discovered a lane equidistant between the hard swing of Basie and the floral voicings of Ellington, with intricate full-ensemble taunts giving way to plush pads designed to provoke the soloists.

McBride's update uses those and other original Nelson charts, which, after all these decades, exude a freshness that eludes many large-ensemble projects. And it relies on a similarly sparky showdown between strong minded soloists—the organist Joey DeFrancesco and guitarist Mark Whitfield. Both clearly know they're working in the towering shadows of giants; neither seems daunted by that as they explore the hairpin turns of the big-band "Milestones" or the easygoing saunter of Montgomery's "Road Song." There are a few astonishing small-group moments, too, that offer a quick gauge on how far these soloists have evolved— check Whitfield on "Road Song," DeFrancesco's gentle and dramatic reading of the ballad "I Want To Talk About You" and McBride's capricious twenty-fingered trip through "Up Jumped Spring").

One elusive element McBride managed to transfer from the original source: The swing feel. From the opening solo, a twisty-road Whitfield foray on "Night Train," it's clear that the soloists thrive in the McBride sweet spot—everything they do, all the flashy blowing, flows directly from the crisp, uncomplicated grooves established by the bassist and his rhythm section. Big band music would be easier to love if it all felt this good. © Tom Moon/Qobuz

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For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver

Christian McBride

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1
Night Train
Christian McBride Big Band
00:05:21

Lewis Simpkins, Composer - Christian McBride, Producer - Jimmy Forrest, Composer - Oscar Washington, Composer - Christian McBride Big Band, MainArtist - Embassy Music Corporation (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. (P) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

2
Road Song
Christian McBride Big Band
00:06:39

Christian McBride, Producer - Wes Montgomery, Composer - Christian McBride Big Band, MainArtist - Taggie Music Co/Gopam Enterprises Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. (P) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

3
Up Jumped Spring
Christian McBride Big Band
00:08:12

Freddie Hubbard, Composer - Christian McBride, Producer - Christian McBride Big Band, MainArtist - Hubtones Music Co. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. (P) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

4
Milestones
Christian McBride Big Band
00:03:47

Miles Davis, Composer - Christian McBride, Producer - Christian McBride Big Band, MainArtist - Screen-Gems-EMI Music Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. (P) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

5
The Very Thought of You
Christian McBride Big Band
00:08:33

Ray Noble, Composer - Christian McBride, Producer - Christian McBride Big Band, MainArtist - Range Road Music, Inc. (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Quartet Music Inc. (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. (P) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

6
Down by the Riverside
Christian McBride Big Band
00:08:20

Christian McBride, Producer - Christian McBride Big Band, MainArtist - 1918 Traditional, In Public Domain, Composer, MusicPublisher

(C) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. (P) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

7
I Want to Talk About You
Christian McBride Big Band
00:07:18

Christian McBride, Producer - Christian McBride Big Band, MainArtist - Billy Eckstein, Composer - Anne Rachel Music Corp/Warner Chappell Music Inc. (ASCAP), MusicPublisher

(C) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. (P) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

8
Don Is
Christian McBride Big Band
00:06:32

Joey DeFrancesco, Composer - Christian McBride, Producer - Christian McBride Big Band, MainArtist - Joey DeFrancesco Music (BMI) administered by Modern Works Music Publishing, MusicPublisher

(C) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. (P) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

9
Medgar Evers' Blues
Christian McBride Big Band
00:07:12

Christian McBride, Producer - Christian McBride Big Band, MainArtist - Mark Whitfield, Composer - Three Wise Boys Music LLC/Embassy Music Corp (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. (P) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

10
Pie Blues
Christian McBride Big Band
00:09:53

Joey DeFrancesco, Composer - Christian McBride, Composer, Producer - Christian McBride Big Band, MainArtist - Joey DeFrancesco Music (BMI) administered by Modern Works Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - ToniChris Music (BMI) administered by Songs of Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher

(C) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC. (P) 2020 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

Album Description

Christian McBride's latest big band session travels back to an incredible moment in 1966 when organist Jimmy Smith, guitarist Wes Montgomery and arranger Oliver Nelson gathered at Rudy Van Gelder's studio for a hard-swinging and ever-so-slightly unconventional big band summit meeting; all were operating at peak creativity. It was the first-ever collaboration between Smith and Montgomery, and the resulting albums (The Dynamic Duo and The Further Adventures Of…) were bursting with feats of highwire soloistic daredevilry. Nelson was the stealth MVP of the date. His arrangements—particularly "Down By The Riverside" and "Milestones"—discovered a lane equidistant between the hard swing of Basie and the floral voicings of Ellington, with intricate full-ensemble taunts giving way to plush pads designed to provoke the soloists.

McBride's update uses those and other original Nelson charts, which, after all these decades, exude a freshness that eludes many large-ensemble projects. And it relies on a similarly sparky showdown between strong minded soloists—the organist Joey DeFrancesco and guitarist Mark Whitfield. Both clearly know they're working in the towering shadows of giants; neither seems daunted by that as they explore the hairpin turns of the big-band "Milestones" or the easygoing saunter of Montgomery's "Road Song." There are a few astonishing small-group moments, too, that offer a quick gauge on how far these soloists have evolved— check Whitfield on "Road Song," DeFrancesco's gentle and dramatic reading of the ballad "I Want To Talk About You" and McBride's capricious twenty-fingered trip through "Up Jumped Spring").

One elusive element McBride managed to transfer from the original source: The swing feel. From the opening solo, a twisty-road Whitfield foray on "Night Train," it's clear that the soloists thrive in the McBride sweet spot—everything they do, all the flashy blowing, flows directly from the crisp, uncomplicated grooves established by the bassist and his rhythm section. Big band music would be easier to love if it all felt this good. © Tom Moon/Qobuz

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