At the center of both bands there’s the extraordinary McBride, authoritatively swinging, masterfully bowing, and ebulliently grooving – an artist Variety calls "the musician with the technical, compositional and emotional skills to take jazz to another plane.”
More than a bass virtuoso and restlessly creative bandleader, Christian McBride is one of jazz’s foremost public intellectuals. An erudite and seemingly indefatigable force, he has appeared on over 300 albums with many of the most illustrious figures in jazz, including Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson and Pat Metheny, while collaborating with artists from across the musical spectrum like Kathleen Battle, Sting, and Questlove of The Roots. He’s led a procession of diverse groups, including the two trios on this double bill – both drummerless units with instrumentation that harkens back to the legendary trios of Nat King Cole and Art Tatum. The recently formed Tip City features rising piano star Emmet Cohen and guitar innovator Rodney Jones, a Juilliard professor who spent years on the road with Dizzy Gillespie and Lena Horne.
Made up of musicians who worked under the mentorship of bassist and jazz legend Ray Brown, the other band on the bill includes pianist Benny Green, who recorded nine albums with Brown in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and guitarist Russell Malone, who appeared on the bassist’s final recording in 2002. Together they pay tribute to the late bandleader and Dizzy Gillespie collaborator, one of McBride’s friends and greatest influences.