"When the bassist Christian McBride feels good about a groove, he savors it, exults in it. Flashing a million-watt smile, he tosses off frolicsome micro-elaborations: a downward-tumbling triplet run, a jaunt of springy quarter notes on the fifth degree of the scale. This sort of thing happens a lot, especially on his bandstand. It certainly happened on Tuesday night at the Village Vanguard, where he’s headlining this week."
"Jazz musicians coming of age in the last 20 years have had a difficult charge. “Innovate!” the music seems to demand. “But know every nuance of my history”, the music also commands. Innovation is tough in a music that passed through atonality in 1965, and paying homage to the tradition is so often stuffy or dull..."
"Bassist Christian McBride detonated a funkfest in New York City last year and documented it digitally on Live at Tonic. This three-CD set is filled to the brim with music, each disc clocking in at greater than an hour. The problem is there exists a certain 1970s self indulgence on two of the three discs. But that's okay, because the first disc is a crackerjack, the best funk workout since Miles' "Agharta"...."