Legendary Bassists Christian McBride and Edgar Meyer Announce New Duo Album

"But Who’s Gonna Play The Melody?" explores the vast variety possible with the pairing of two limitless bassists

Legendary Bassists Christian McBride and Edgar Meyer Announce New Duo Album

"But Who’s Gonna Play The Melody?" explores the vast variety possible with the pairing of two limitless bassists

Today, 8-time GRAMMY® Award winner Christian McBride announced the upcoming release of But Who’s Gonna Play The Melody?, a new album recorded with renowned bassist and composer Edgar Meyer. The album explores the vast variety possible with the pairing of two limitless bassists, encompassing diverse original compositions, American Songbook standards, and familiar classics by jazz and bluegrass masters. The album will be released on March 22 via Mack Avenue Music Group, and is currently available for preorder here. On release day, the two will perform as a duo at Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN.

McBride has also released the track “Barnyard Disturbance.” Drawing on both blues and country influences, the track finds McBride and Meyer extracting the full range of sonic possibilities from their instruments.

“Edgar and I come from two different places,” McBride explains. “I come from the jazz and R&B worlds with a little bit of classical, and he comes from the bluegrass and classical worlds with a little bit of jazz. With this album we’re meeting each other in uncharted territory.”

McBride and Meyer were initially introduced by their mutual mentor, the legendary jazz bassist Ray Brown. It took nearly a decade before they shared a stage together in 2007 under the auspices of Jazz Aspen Snowmass, the Colorado-based non-profit jazz performance and education organization. The pair quickly discovered that the common ground between their disparate backgrounds was a firm foundation in the blues.

Hundreds of miles separate Meyer’s hometown of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and McBride’s in Philadelphia, but their roots feel intertwined throughout But Who’s Gonna Play the Melody? “The center of our connection is in things that are earthy and funky and rooted in a blues dimension,” Meyer says. “Then it ranges out from there.”

Intimate and raucous, playful and exquisite, gritty and refined – But Who’s Gonna Play the Melody? reveals worlds of influence, experience and inspiration in just two basses. While Meyer is the first to profess that “the bass is a pretty limited instrument,” in his and McBride’s hands it sounds as close to limitless as it ever has.

About Christian McBride:

McBride is renowned as both a globally esteemed artist and one of the most respected and influential advocates and educators in jazz. He’s been awarded eight GRAMMY Awards, garnered acclaim for his poignant ode to the Civil Rights era, The Movement Revisited, and performed at the White House. He leads several acclaimed and diverse ensembles, including the Christian McBride Big Band, the scintillating quintet Inside Straight, and the adventurous New Jawn.

McBride’s most recent album Prime exemplifies jazz greats at the zenith of their powers who insist on scaling greater heights, and received praise from The New York Times, NPR’s World Cafe, Forbes, Jazziz, and many more. In 2023 Christian also performed on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series, released the track “Why Am I Treated So Bad” with Norah Jones and Questlove, and performed on Saturday Night Live with Billie Eilish.

Beyond his own work he’s a tireless champion for jazz’s continued relevance through his work as Artistic Director of the Newport Jazz Festival, host of the NPR radio program Jazz Night in America, Artistic Director of the music education organizations Jazz House Kids and Jazz Aspen, Artistic Advisor for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and its TD James Moody Jazz Festival, and Associate Artistic Director for the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

He is a living example of the torch-passing tradition of jazz, having worked and apprenticed with genre icons like Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Milt Jackson, Chick Corea, Freddie Hubbard, and Ray Brown, as well as giants of R&B, rock, hip-hop, and classical music; while sharing that priceless experience with new generations through his work as a bandleader (rising stars who’ve risen through the ranks of his ensembles include vibraphonist Warren Wolf, pianist Christian Sands, and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr.) and as an educator.

About Edgar Meyer

In demand as both a performer and a composer, Meyer has formed a role in the music world unlike any other. He has won five Grammy Awards for his artistry, bridging the realms of bluegrass, classical and folk music in a fashion that appeals to broad audiences and connoisseurs alike. His expansive list of collaborators include many of the most acclaimed figures in contemporary music, including Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Yo-Yo Ma, Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Chris Thile, Mike Marshall, Mark O’Connor, Christian McBride, and Emanuel Ax. 


1. Green Slime

 2. Barnyard Disturbance

 3. Bebop, Of Course

4. Bass Duo #1

5. Solar

6. Canon

7. Philly Slop

8. Interlude #1

9. FRB 2DB

10. Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered

11. Bass Duo #2

12. Lullaby For A Ladybug

13. Days Of Wine And Roses

14. Interlude #2

15. Tennessee Blues

Christian McBride Tour Dates:

02/02/24 – Chicago, IL – Symphony Center

02/08/24 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Hall (A Tribute in Song)

02/10/24 – Cleveland, OH – Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center

02/15/24 – New York, NY – 92nd St Y (Christian McBride Big Band)

02/16/24 – Chapel Hill, NC – Memorial Hall

02/23/24 – Charlotte, NC – Belk Theater

03/06/24 – Durango, CO – Community Concert Hall

03/09/24 – Lone Tree, CO – Lone Tree Arts Center

03/22/24 – 03/24/24 – Knoxville, TN – Big Ears Festival

04/06/24 – Homer, NY – Center for the Arts of Homer

04/07/24 – Arlington, MA – Arlington Jazz Festival

04/09/24 – Pittsburgh, PA – August Wilson African American Cultural Center

04/10/24 – Baltimore, MD – Keystone Korner

04/11/24 – Baltimore, MD – Keystone Korner (Early & Late show)

04/13/24 – Germantown, TN – Germantown Performing Arts Center

05/03/24 – Durham, NH – Paul Creative Arts Center (Christian McBride and Inside Straight)

05/07/24 – 05/12/24 – New York, NY – Blue Note Jazz Club (Early and Late Show)

05/22/24 – Roanoke, VA – Shaftman Performance Hall (Christian McBride and Inside Straight)

05/24/24 – St. Louis, MO – The Sheldon Concert Hall (Christian McBride and Inside Straight)

05/25/24 – 05/26/24 – Cincinnati, OH – Caffe Vivace (With Inside Straight)

07/05/24 – 07/07/24 – Glynde, UK – Glynde Place (Love Supreme Festival)

Christian McBride


Bass Magazine   By: Bass Magazine