Christian McBride | “Kind of Brown”: Recommended Listening With Damian Erskine
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“Kind of Brown”
The title says it all.. This album plays (to my ears) like an homage to the style & class of the era of jazz which inspired this amazing quintet. The band could not possibly be any better, in my opinion. Christian McBride is simply in a class all by himself. He can swing with the best of them (and has!), play the blues like it flows through his veins and make regular visits to aggressive electric fusion like he just walked out of a Weather Report concert inspired and ready to play. He is a singular voice that stands out above the rest.
Carl Allen plays drums here and man.. he swings SO hard yet plays with such control and restraint. It’s inspiring to listen to.. He’s really playing the music at every moment and nothing else.
Pianist Eric Scott Reed to me always sounds like he could play the same song 1000 times and never repeat himself. A very in the moment player and 100% impressive. Chops for days and even more musicality.
Warren Wolf, Jr. is on vibes here and he just kills it! He has both the modern flare and sound of more contemporary players like Stephan Harris but seems to have the capacity for channelling players like Lionel Hampton and the like. Just a wonderful blend of traditional respect and understanding of the music combined with a steeping of modern vocabulary and tendencies as well.
Last, but not least, saxophonist Steve Wilson has such a wonderful tone. I just love listening to him play!
This album is more traditional in style, the embody-ment of “jazz” in the traditional sense. So well executed and emoted that you cannot help but sit back and imagine these guys live… and smile.