Sunday, September 20, 2015


Christian McBride Trio Live At The Village Vanguard is the jazz bassist’s second trio album. The album was recorded last year and released nationwide recently. For eight years running, McBride has had an annual weeklong engagement at the famed jazz club. He’s rocked the Vanguard with his quintet Inside Straight, and his Grammy-winning-big band. This time out, McBride performed with his trio drummer Ulysses Owens, and pianist Christian Sands. For Live at the Village Vanguard, McBride went with standards and some well-known R& B oldies that have simple melodies. McBride pushed his guys to pour their imaginations over the standards and oldies. There’s nothing earthmoving here, but you’ll have a ball listening to the trio play Fried Pies, Cherokee, Down By The Riverside, Car Wash, and The Lady In My Life, a hit by Michael Jackson.  Midway through the album you’ll concede, McBride built this trio around Sands’ chops. Stylistically, Sands has Hank Jones's spirit dwelling in his left hand, and Vijay Iyer influence crashing his right hand. The cut likely to get the most watercooler talk is The Lady In My Life. Sands’ solo would have the king of pop moonwalking in heaven. Sands has the biggest presence on the album, but Owens has some choice moments, showing his ass on Fried Pies and the closer Car Wash.

When the newly formed jazz trio Perez Patitucci Blade completed their new album, Children Of The Light,, the trio presented the album to saxophonist Wayne Shorter as a gesture of gratitude for being their musical father figure for nearly two decades. Perez, Patitucci, and Blade have made some unforgettable albums with Shorter, Without A Net being the most recent. Children Of The Light is the first time pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade have recorded as a trio. Children Of The Light is a marvelous album of eleven originals.  Each member contributed compositions, and the album comes off as a love letter to Shorter. Fortunately, the trio didn’t pay homage to Shorter by playing his music. They dove head first into the deep end of their imaginations and returned to the surface with opulent originals such as Looking For Light, Milky Way, and African Wave. Although each member shares equal billing, Perez is the star. His playing throughout was profound and wonderfully abstract. The music on Children Of The Light won’t have you strutting-what-your-mama-gave-you, but you’ll have a swell time hearing Perez, Patitucci and Blade ply their musical genius, which Shorter played a significant role in cultivating.
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