Christian McBride Trio 'Live At The Village Vanguard (Vinyl)

This live recording (over three nights) from the world famous New York's Village Vanguard captures the magic of bass virtuoso, Christian McBride and his equally talented pianist and drummer.  

Typical of McBride, the charts are hard driving and swing. There's lots of technique on show, but great musicianship and musicality, too. The audience loves it and you can feel the energy in the room. 

All three are balanced musically. That's saying something with such a phenom as McBride. He burst on the scene from his Juilliard training in 1994 with his debut CD 'Gettin' to it', a fantastic debut album blessed with a great recording and the best sidemen available. 

This album has a lot of his debut album's energy. His improvisational style has developed, especially on ballads, but his ingenue talent was so well defined in 1994 that this album is simply an emphasis on it. There was a lot to love from the beginning. 

McBride (center) is joined by his trio bandmates, pianist Christian Sands (left) and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. (right).

McBride (center) is joined by his trio bandmates, pianist Christian Sands (left) and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. (right).

Live at the Village Vanguard has a nice mix of up tempo original charts, standards (The Lady Of My Life, Cherokee, Down By The Riverside), covers and ballads. The set begins with Wes Montgomery's Fried Pies. You'll hear the quality immediately after McBride's spoken introduction focusing on his reverence for the venue and his musicians. 

I have not heard the CD, but the LP is warm and direct with lots of ambience. Not quite as good as the live Waltz for Debby (Bill Evans Trio) -- no clinking glasses and low talkers. But, the LP gives you all the trio's energy with the gorgeous timbres whether solo drums, piano or McBride's amazing bass playing. Highly recommended.  

Live at the Village Vanguard

Christian McBride Trio

2015 Mack Avenue Records


1. Fried Pies 9:14
2. Band Introduction 2:38
3. Interlude 7:18
4. Sand Dune 9:06
5. The Lady In My Life 6:55
6. Cherokee 8:43
7. Good Morning Heartache 10:34
8. Down By The Riverside 6:48
9. Car Wash 7:13


Christian Mcbride bass
Christian Sands piano
Ulysses Owens Jr. drums

Produced by Christan Mcbride

Gretchen Valade Executive Producer.
Engineered and mixed by Todd Whitelock.
Assistant Engineers: Trevor Fedele and Dan Cherouny.
Recorded over three consecutive nights in December of 2014 live at the Village Vanguard in New York City.