In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Christian McBride surprised everyone with the depth of his teenage swing chops, but even then, he made no secret of being enamored with James Brown, and he’s spent a fair amount of time cutting electric grooves.The bass star kicks off a two-week Vanguard run with his star-studded, straight-ahead battalion, Inside Straight, appearing through Dec 7. Saxophone VIP Steve Wilson is up front with vibraphonist Warren Wolf, as McBride, pianist Peter Martin and drum dynamo Carl Allen keep things grooving. Starting Dec 9, McBride leads the piano trio featured on 2013's crackling Out Here, with Christian Sands at the keys and Ulysses Owens Jr. on drums.
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