CD Review: Conversations with Christian by Christian McBride
"Stank!" jazz bassist Christian McBride cries as he accompanies Gina Gershan on Jew’s harp on his new CD, “Conversations with Christian.” “I ain’t never heard no funky Jew’s harp before,” he said on the CD. McBride, who played in Kalamazoo, Mich., last fall, may be more prolific than you think. Not only did he create a CD of his compositions in big band form last fall with his release, “The Good Feeling,” he soon followed that with this star-filled CD of duets, “Conversations.” Each artist has his or her own style and plays individually with McBride. The artists include Sting on vocals, Chic Corea on piano, Dr. Billy Taylor on piano, Dee Dee Bridgewater on vocals, Regina Carter on violin, Angelique Kidjo on vocals, Hank Jones on piano, George Duke on piano, Ron Blake on sax, Eddie Palmieri on piano and Russell Malone on guitar. Since bass players perform with many different musicians, they cover great musical territory during work and this CD shows the pop cross currents that McBride has been exposed to. It starts off briskly with Kudjo’s “Afirika” and Sting is a later highlight in “Consider Me Gone.” “Conversations with Christian” is passionate, focused jazz.