“To celebrate the release Live at the Village Vanguard, Christian McBride & Inside Straight returned last week to the Village Vanguard with Inside Straight for twelve sold-out shows as part of his annual residency. He will be touring with his quintet throughout 2022 both in Europe and in the United States. This week, Christian returns to the Village Vanguard with his New Jawn quartet, playing two shows a night from December 7 to December 12.”
"I'm eager to be back in front of a live audience. Last year, because of Covid restrictions, we did a livestream of my residency and it was a strange feeling with no audience. Now, we feel very fortunate, very happy, and extremely grateful to be back in front of everyone," says McBride. "The Village Vanguard has become quite an important part of my life and my trajectory as a bandleader. In fact, you can't mention Inside Straight or New Jawn without talking about the Vanguard. They were both born here. I just can't believe that a place as legendary as the Village Vanguard has played such a major role in my career with these two bands. It's wonderful."
Speaking on his most recent GRAMMY® Award nomination, McBride said, "I'm very excited that we've been nominated again, it's always a thrill to get a tip of the cap from my peers and the Recording Academy. I'm most excited, though, that this nomination is for the project that features two of my oldest friends: Mark Whitfield and Joey DeFrancesco. This is just as much for them as it is for me and the Big Band." The Christian McBride Big Band's previous two releases were also both nominated, and then won, in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category.
For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver received critical acclaim upon release, and was included in Best of the Year lists from Rolling Stone to Hi-Fi Trends, while also receiving support from The New York Times, Stereogum, and WBGO, among many others.
Christian McBride & Inside Straight Live at the Village Vanguard is Christian McBride’s twelfth release with Mack Avenue Music Group. This recording can be thought of as a companion to the GRAMMY® Award-winning Christian McBride Trio Live at the Village Vanguard album released in 2015. Inside Straight is the quintet that inaugurated McBride’s collaboration with Mack Avenue Records (releasing Kind of Brown in 2009). Both live recordings of the bassist leading these two ensembles occurred in a consecutive two-week period in December of 2014 – a rare engagement offered to only the most venerated jazz artists by the most venerated jazz club in America.
There is no doubt that McBride is one of the most versatile musicians on the scene today. His artistry has been documented in recordings and performances with the widest possible range of musicians in the most varied settings and genres one might imagine. His collaborations have been as diverse as duets with the revered classical bassist Edgar Meyer and avant-garde composer and violinist Laurie Anderson; performances with iconic artists like Sting and James Brown; ensembles with his fellow native Philadelphian, Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, of The Roots; not to mention a host of jazz masters from Sonny Rollins and Freddie Hubbard to Pat Metheny and the late Chick Corea.
It was in fact this nomadic journey that provided the inspiration for McBride to return to leading a more conventional straight ahead acoustic jazz ensemble. So, in 2007 McBride recruited his former bandmate in Freddie Hubbard’s group, drummer Carl Allen, saxophonist Steve Wilson, pianist Eric Reed (who subsequently was replaced by Peter Martin) and an amazing young musical prodigy who had enrolled in McBride’s summer camp program Jazz at Aspen, Colorado, vibraphonist Warren Wolf. They played one week at the Village Vanguard with the intention of each musician returning to his other respective projects at the end of that engagement. But the entire week sold out. The proprietor of the Vanguard, Lorraine Gordon, who had very high standards and a reputation for not being easy to please, was ecstatic. Legendary A&R executive Bruce Lundvall, who had come down to hear the band after attending a Ron Carter concert at Carnegie Hall, sat down with McBride after the set and in discussion with the bassist reaffirmed that this ensemble was something special. Some six months later, McBride signed with Mack Avenue Records.
Although the Inside Straight band has made two prior studio recordings for Mack Avenue Records, Kind of Brown and People Music, the band has not, until now, released a live recording – the milieu in which this ensemble was originally created. Represented herein are compositions by three of the five band members. The album opens with a rip-roaring performance of Warren Wolf’s soulful tune “Sweet Bread” and later in the set includes his vibraphone feature “Gang Gang.” Alto and soprano saxophonist Steve Wilson contributes a paean to Maya Angelou. The remainder of the compositions are McBride’s; two of which similarly celebrate the work of jazz greats James Williams and Cedar Walton and provide fertile ground for the aforementioned accomplished pianist Peter Martin. The other two McBride tunes, “Fair Hope Theme” and “Stick and Move,” showcase the quintet engaged in powerfully deep swing with the rapidly shifting rhythmic and harmonic phrasing that kept audiences at the Village Vanguard on the edge of their seats.
November of 2021 marks the 64th anniversary of the very first live recording from the Village Vanguard made by Sonny Rollins. It is a high point in any musician’s career to have performed and become part of a commercial release that has been “recorded live at the Village Vanguard.” One need only listen to any of the legendary recordings made there ranging from Rollins and John Coltrane to Barbra Streisand to hear the magic those performances yield. Except for 2020, the Inside Straight quintet has played at the Village Vanguard every year since 2009. Finally, with Christian McBride & Inside Straight Live at the Village Vanguard, music fans the world over have a chance to hear what all the fuss is about.
Christian McBride & Inside Straight Tour Dates:
December 7 - December 12 | Village Vanguard | New York, NY * WITH NEW JAWN
January 17 - 24 | The Jazz Cruise
February 26 | St. Cecilia Music Center | Grand Rapids, MI
February 27 | Lively Arts Series @ Normandy Farms | Blue Bell, PA
May 3 - 4 | The Jazz Kitchen | Indianapolis, IN
May 5 - 8 | Jazz Showcase | Chicago, IL
May 10 - 12 | Dazzle | Denver, CO
International Christian McBride & Inside Straight Dates JUST ANNOUNCED:
March 3 | Sono Music Center | Brno, CZ
March 4 | MoMkult | Budapest, HU
March 8 | Kulturehuset ViFTEN | Copenhagen, DK
March 9 | Muziekgebouw | Amsterdam, NL
March 11 | Burgerhaus Backnang | Backnang, D
March 12 | Moods | Zurich, CH
March 14 | Volkshaus Basel | Basel, CH
March 16 | L'Arsenal | Metz, FR
March 17 | La Seine Musicale | Boulogne-Billancourt, FR
March 19 | National Music Auditorium | Madrid, ES
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