April 22, 2012 in Album of the Week
I must confess that I have a bias toward small group jazz. However, every now and again I’ll hear a big band album that really speaks to me. In my opinion, the Christian McBride big band and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra are the two groups that best carry the tradition of the great big bands to the next generation.
Christian McBride has been known as an exceptional bass player since coming onto the scene in the early 90s, but he’s also come into his own as an arranger. The Good Feeling is a nice mix of standards and originals, all of them arranged by McBride. The album is pure swing, out of the tradition of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Stan Kenton. However, the flavor is distinctly McBride. I’ve never heard a big band that features as many tasty bass solos, and the other cats contribute many other great moments. McBride assembled a brilliant crew of cats for the date, and the result is definite worth a listen…and another…and another!
This interview is VERY telling. Christian McBride has done a whole lot of transcribing not only to help his bass playing, but also to help his arranging! He’s definitely an inspirational cat.
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