For his Mack Avenue recording debut, the 36-year-old bassist / bandleader / educator / artistic director / Grammy Award winner CHRISTIAN McBRIDE delivered the remarkable Kind Of Brown, a 10-track album featuring his new acoustic jazz quintet Inside Straight, comprised of old friends, pianist Eric Reed, alto saxophonist Steve Wilson and drummer Carl Allen, as well as newcomer vibraphonist Warren Wolf, one of McBride’s former students.
Produced by McBride, Kind Of Brown is a collection of hard swing-to-bluesy groove tunes that the leader says he put together to give the members of his new ensemble “something to sink their teeth into.” He adds, “I wanted to present solid melodies with some decent chord changes that could be good vehicles for the guys to blow on.”
While McBride has helmed a longstanding acoustic / electric quartet—label mate and tenor saxophonist Ron Blake, pianist Geoffrey Keezer, drummer Terreon Gully—the bassist extraordinaire decided to create a new quintet that was focused on playing straight-ahead acoustic jazz. Formed in June 2007, the group made its debut at the Village Vanguard in New York, marking the first time in 10 years that McBride appeared there as a leader. “For the occasion I wanted to put together a special group,” he says. “I had no intention of forming a future working band, but during that week people raved about the show and kept telling me that the group had to be documented.”