bass-ic mcbride

christian mcbrideThere’s nothing like staying busy exploring one’s craft.

Last year, bassist, bandleader and composer Christian McBride occupied himself with three wildly varied jazz trio projects. The first was an instrumental recording by Bruce Hornsby. Titled Camp Meeting, the album teamed the pop pianist with McBride and veteran drummer Jack DeJohnette for compositions by Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman.

In the fall, he was off to New York to play with two titans: saxophonist Sonny Rollins and drummer Roy Haynes at Carnegie Hall. The performance marked the 50th anniversary of Rollins’ Carnegie debut. McBride concluded the year with a tour as bassist for the Pat Metheny Trio. The band’s beautifully streamlined debut disc, Day Trip, arrives in stories on Tuesday.

Is it any wonder then that McBride is itching to be his own boss again? On Saturday, the bassist heads to Muntz Hall of the University of Cincinnati’s Raymond Walters College in Blue Ash, Ohio. And this time, he will be promoting his own band and his own sound.

If Live at Tonic, a mammoth three-disc album pulled from January 2005 performances at the now-defunct New York music club, is any indication, McBride plugs in big time when he is charge. The acoustic double bass is still his weapon of choice. But the music employs hints of ‘70s fusion and funk as its foundation. That means jam band fans are likely to get hip to the music as much as jazz die-hards.

Either way, this is a prime road trip pick for those favoring some instrumental fun that moves to a different, but very substantial groove.

Tickets for Saturday’s 8 p.m. performance are $15, although discounts are available for students and seniors. For more ticket information, call (513) 745-5705 or go to

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