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Christian McBride: The Bass Boss

June 14, 2012In the first generation of bebop musicians, Ray Brown was king of the jazz bass. He mentored a young player named Christian McBride, and today, McBride is jazz's "go-to" bassist. While visiting Seattle's KPLU, he performs with pianist Peter Martin.

In the first generation of bebop musicians, Ray Brown was king of the jazz bass. Today, the "go-to" jazz bassist is Christian McBride, so we were delighted to have McBride stop by the KPLU studios for a performance with pianist Peter Martin.

McBride discussed his formative years and the difference between playing with vocalists and playing with instrumentalists, and reminisced about Brown, his mentor. He also described another great bassist of bebop's first generation, Charles Mingus.

Along the way, McBride and Martin treated us to duo arrangements of Milt Jackson's "SKJ," McBride's own "Used 'Ta Could" and a beautiful rendition of Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady." Ray Brown may be gone, but the mantle of "king of the jazz bass" couldn't be in better hands.

Set List
  • "SKJ" (M. Jackson)
  • "Used 'Ta Could" (C. McBride)
  • "Sophisticated Lady" (Ellington)
Credits

Abe Beeson, host; Justin Steyer, video production and photo

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