was overwhelmed with performing offers during a visit to his brother in
Dallas and he made a name on the city's jazz club scene. During that
time he met young trumpeter Dave
Love at a function for North Texas State University. The two
became friends and when Love started the Heads Up
International label, Joe was signed to a record deal.
is his sixth CD for Heads Up, since recording and touring with
labelmates began in 1992.
Up This Morning (vocal) is a real surprise.
It’s driven by a menacing bassline and the whole feel is
bluesy, with its harmonica sounds and clean guitar.
The title is tongue in cheek – as is the vocal.
The song is a rework of the theme to the hit TV show “The
funky, upbeat, piano-led melody on Keepin’ It
Real is more recognisable as McBride’s style.
I wrote “smile-inducer” when I listened through first time
– yes, I stand by that.
can almost hear the waves crashing on a faraway beach as Oi
Gata (it means “hey sexy” in Portuguese) washes over you.
The piano is crystal clear and dances over the mellow but
confident latin-tinged rhythm.
intro to Lakewood promises yet another
classy arrangement. And
that’s what you get. It’s
smooth jazz radio-friendly and summer’s on its way. If I were lucky enough to be in Washington DC for the Capital
JazzFest in June, I’m sure I’d hear it everywhere.
Love this guy! Love
of old Crusaders music are everywhere on the gospel-flavoured His
Name which features the sax of Wayne DeLano strongly.
Way back home – it’s rootsy stuff with just enough reminders
that this is a 2002 production.
DJ’s get behind Never Let You Go please!
The cool scat intro opens a lush mid-tempo love song which sounds
more like Al Jarreau as it builds.
Don’t underestimate the quality of McBride’s voice.
My head is nodding and my feet tapping.
This is dynamite!
a tropical feel when Morning In A Distant Land opens
calmly but grandly. Percussion
and tasteful bamboo flute and steel pan samples are the bed for the
laid-back, piano-led melody. Oh,
I would love to hear this live!
McBride unplugged! Can’t
Live Without You features Todd Parsnow’s acoustic guitar and
the simplest of backing to cast the spotlight on the strong vocal –
and lyric. When the sax
comes in, it’s like everything on this song – just enough.
will love When You Smile with its unadorned
soprano sax and piano duetting. This
is late-night, eyes closed music. The
sheer class of the arrangement keeps this from sounding clichéd.
case anyone should underestimate the rhythm section on this CD,
concentrate on the tight drum and bass interplay on Kickin’
It. It’s an airy
mid-tempo number with a verse section that reminds me strangely of Bobby
top contemporary jazz keyboard players like Joe McBride and Brian
Culbertson can take a simple melody like that on Gentle
Rain and weave it into something absorbing.
Production values are very high on this song – it’s a great
example of what I think Joe McBride’s music is all about.
the instrumental cut of Woke Up This Morning,
a gritty baritone sax takes over the lead role and that sense of fun is
still there. It’s not
typical of Joe McBride’s sound but it is typical of his ability to be
just that bit different.
quite obvious that Joe McBride’s continued success – and
particularly his recent warm reception in South Africa – has only
served to increase his passion for his music and his development as an
Up International HUCD 3067 – producer Martin Walters