For Tiny Desk Playlists, we ask musicians, creators and folks we admire to choose the Tiny Desk concerts they've come to love. For this edition and in celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, we asked Grammy Award-winning bassist, composer, educator, broadcaster and Jazz Night in America host Christian McBride for his favorites.
Christian McBride is one of jazz's leading figures. His music projects explore the corners of jazz from big band to jazz funk. He currently serves as the Artistic Director for the legendary Newport Jazz Festival. He works with Jazz House Kids, a community arts organization that shares the art form with tomorrow's artistic leaders.As our host for Jazz Night in America, you can hear him in conversation with Bobby McFerrin or digging through the crates to spotlight Latin bass — or catch his suite dedicated to major figures of the Civil Rights movement.
For all he does in jazz, you're just as likely to find McBride working with R&B, hip-hop, rock or classical artists. He is a noted James Brown and funk devotee. He even DJs. For McBride, it's about the music. With that in mind, we decided to find out which Tiny Desks have caught his ear. — Mitra I. Arthur
• Chick Corea & Gary Burton — Two of the most beautiful and sublime musicians ever. It almost seems like their collaboration was tailor-made for a Tiny Desk concert. This has always been one of my favorites. RIP Chick.
• George Clinton & The P-Funk All Stars — From an actual mothership flying through arenas and stadiums in the late '70s to a Tiny Desk concert...and not a bit less exciting! From arena funk to office funk. Now that's impressive.
• Sesame Street — Come on. Possibly the greatest Tiny Desk concert ever! Seriously. I used to see Sesame Street On Ice almost every year when I was a kid and my love for Sesame Street has never waned. So what if I'm almost 50!
• Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile And Stuart Duncan — This band's unusual hybrid of classical, bluegrass, folk and jazz makes some of the greatest music in the world. I know that Edgar did a Tiny Desk concert along with Béla Fleck and Zakir Hussain, but this performance with Stuart Duncan and Chris Thile is truly four masters at work.
• Mac Miller — When GO:OD AM was released in 2015, I was asked to review it for The Talkhouse. They thought it'd be a wild idea to have a jazz musician review a hip-hop album. At the time, I was neutral, but I was genuinely looking forward to seeing how his music would develop. After that, I listened to The Divine Feminine and loved it. This Tiny Desk concert is a reminder of what an amazing talent he was. He is missed.
Tiny Desks In This Playlist
• Chick Corea & Gary Burton
• George Clinton & The P-Funk All Stars
• Sesame Street
• Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer And Chris Thile
• Mac Miller