“Gettin’ to It”

Verve Records

* * * 1/2


This is about as good as a debut album gets. Bassist McBride has accomplished most of his goals for his first outing as a leader, including an impressive display of composing skills, superb rhythm section playing and eloquent soloing. It also is an album that is simply great fun to hear--jazz that is exhilarating, animated and filled with the joy of music-making.

McBride’s bass trio rendering (with Ray Brown and Milt Hinton) of Neal Hefti’s “Splanky” is an instant classic, and his own works, especially the hard-swinging “In a Hurry” and the harmonically lush “Sitting on a Cloud” are the products of a rapidly expanding compositional vision. His ballad soloing on “Stars Fell on Alabama” is done with an expressive articulation rarely heard on his instrument, and the whimsical romp through the blues chestnut “Night Train” happily revives a connection that once existed between jazz and urban R&B.;

The presence of Roy Hargrove, Cyrus Chestnut, Joshua Redman and Steve Turre, among others, brings a high quality of performance throughout. But there is never any doubt that the date is McBride’s, and it is the strikingly sophisticated creative imagination of this talented young artist that governs every aspect of this splendid recording.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good, recommended), four stars (excellent).


* Times Line: 808-8463

To hear an excerpt from Christian McBride’s album “Gettin to It,” call TimesLine and press * 5740.

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