Christian McBride Band: Vertical Vision (2003) MP3/Flac

Vertical Vision is bassist Christian McBride's Warner Bros. debut. Equally adept on acoustic and electric, McBride is a long-running Sting sideman, as well as a member of the late Ray Brown's inspirational SuperBass trio. Christian's own band is a very stable unit, its rapport thoroughly road-tested. The disc opens with a brief burst of 78rpm crackling, before McBride abruptly rips that old shellac off the player and substitutes the heavy-rockin' funk of his "Technicolor Nightmare." Both McBride and keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer are fond of convoluted melody lines, but their prettiness is usually scarred by the serrated surfaces turned out by saxophonist Ron Blake and guitarist David Gilmore (not the member of Pink Floyd). It's Keezer's ballad tendencies that most retain their smooth sheen. McBride's "The Wizard of Montara" is short and boppish, while his "Ballad of Little Girl Dancer" is the funkiest number, loaded up with chirping synths. Other highlights are the intricate "Lejos de Usted" and Joe Zawinul's "Boogie Woogie Waltz," where McBride gets to burn up his own fingers. This whole disc is very much in thrall to swirling 1970s fusion, and given a hard, dense production style that sometimes errs towards dulled and muted, particularly with the brutal rock heaviness of Terreon Gully's drums. This muscular delivery of sometimes lightweight tunes manages to convey a mixed message of risk-taking danger and commercial adaptability.
Vertical Visionalt
- Part 2 (RS) / - Part 2 (HF) flac