Christian McBride Quintet (USA)
Christian McBride: bass
Jaleel Shaw: alto saxophone
Warren Wolf: vibraphone
Peter Martin: piano
Carl Allen: drums
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Christian McBride’s quintet Inside Straight returns with first live album
By Javon Christopher Anderson
Christian McBride and Inside Straight
courtesy of Mack Avenue
Christian McBride returns with his Inside Straight quintet for a new recording called Live at the Village Vanguard.
This is the third album for Inside Straight, but it’s only their first live record — even though the band was originally formed purely for a live setting.
Live at the Village Vanguard is effectively a companion to the Christian McBride Trio’s recording of the same name from 2015. The sessions for both ensembles were captured consecutively during the bassist’s two-week engagement at the esteemed jazz club in New York in December of 2014.
McBride first formed Inside Straight back in 2007 when he recruited drummer Carl Allen, saxophonist Steve Wilson, pianist Eric Reed (later replaced by Peter Martin) and vibraphonist Warren Wolf. They were supposed to just play for one week at the Village Vanguard, but their residency was so successful that A&R executive Bruce Lundvall signed McBride to a record deal with Mack Avenue.
Two years later, McBride released Kind of Brown with Inside Straight. It was his first album of new material in six years, and the first release in a long relationship with Mack Avenue. The quintet followed it up with their second studio album People Music in 2013.
Live at the Village Vanguard features compositions by three of the five band members: There are Wolf’s Sweet Bread and Gang Gang and Wilson’s Ms. Angelou, with the rest belonging to McBride, including Fair Hope Theme and Stick and Move.
McBride released two records just last year, including The Movement Revisited, which was dedicated to Black history and icons of the civil-rights movement. This year, he won his seventh Grammy Award for Trilogy 2 with Chick Corea and Brian Blade.
Excluding 2020, Inside Straight have played at the Village Vanguard every year since 2009. With this new live album, fans can experience the quintet’s performance over and over. It’s also fitting that November marks the 64th anniversary of the first live Village Vanguard recording by Sonny Rollins, who has also collaborated with McBride.