Christian Mcbride: Number Two Express

COMPOSERS: Christian Mcbride
WORKS: Number Two Express
PERFORMER: McBride (b); Kenny Garrett/Gary Bartz (as); Chick Corea/Kenny Barron (p); Steve Nelson (vib); Jack DeJohnette (d); Mino Cinelu (perc)
CATALOGUE NO: 529 585-2
Christian McBride’s second Verve album as leader sees him surrounded by seductive star names. Instead of being overawed, however, McBride demonstrates just what a precociously mature talent he is – Ray Brown himself is on record as forecasting the brightest of futures for him – by his intelligent and considered use of his stellar collaborators. Thus the presence of Chick Corea, famously a pioneer of electric piano in his Miles Davis days, encourages McBride to explore a Bitches Brew-type sound; Gary Bartz enables him to explore Coltrane-ish territory; and Kenny Barron and Jack DeJohnette provide him with the perfect rhythm-section support for his own robust compositions. McBride himself is a wonderfully propulsive bassist with a sonorous, woody sound, and this album can only enhance his already considerable reputation. Chris Parker