Christian McBride - Vertical Vision

“Back in 1989, legendary jazz saxophonists Bobby Watson introduced the jazz world to a phenomenal young bassist from Philadelphia name Christian McBride.” 

McBride has since been proclaimed, as the most sought after bassist in modern music, now with this in mind you will better understand the concept of his latest offering titled “Vertical Vision”. Christian has masterfully created an impressive, yet once in a lifetime recordings with “Vertical Vision”. Christian assembled the talents of saxophonist Ron Blake, pianist and keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer along with Terreon Gully on the skins; David Gilmore plays guitar and Danny Sadownick on percussion. 

The opening track is a teaser titled “Circa 1990” which admittedly falls into the second track called “Technicolor Nightmare” a fusion lovers dream unveils with vengeance. At the beginning of the piece is a propelling jazz-rock session that dips rapidly into and acoustic bass solo accented by skilled pitter-patter drumming of Gully. Vibrant rhythms viciously return with a roaring vamp as the players interweave solos by guitarist David Gilmore and the bopping horn chops by Blake, keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer slips in with a timbered solo to add color to this already powerful musical statement authored by McBride. 

“Tahitian Pearl” softly opens with a delicate piano solo penned by Keezer assisted with the cooling tonality of Ron Blake' s golden saxophone beckoning your attention. McBride finds his way into the room binding and stretching the upright bass strings as an artist skillfully strokes a painting with his brush challenging the listener to reconnect his/her thoughts. 

At the four spot McBride opts, to write a swinging number titled “The Wizard Of Montara” which is short lived leaving the listener with a hint of anxiety longing for a bit more from this foot stomping arrangement. 

“The Ballad Of Little Girl Dancer” penned by McBride opens with Keezer and Blake exchanging solos echoing sentiments of contemporary jazz as McBride bends and flexes his electric bass strings plucking in lower register offering another enduring innovative piece. 

Vertical Vision changes pace with “Lejos De Usted” by McBride, this Latin inspired track features Ron Blake playing the flute as he secretly wraps you into an enchanting rapture of the melody etching his signature into the essence of this surreal moment.  

Keyboardist and pianist Geoffrey Keezer serves up one my favorite pieces called “Precious One” also penned by Keezer. “Precious One” is a mid-tempo number that integrates nicely into this musical accusation focusing on the jazzier side of Vertical Vision interchanging solos by Blake and Keezer’s flowing harmonies. 

“Song For Maya” is a soft Latin samba drops in the eight spot written by horn man Ron Blake. Blake once again illustrates way his talents are much appreciated on this project adding just the right flavor to the mix. 

Joe Zawinul’s composition “Boogie Woogie Waltz” is the final selection on “Vertical Vision”. Drawn from the blueprint of fusion, McBride’s band takes full command of this engaging masterpiece, the band quickly adapts to this structurally demanding work of art with prompt precision. 

Unfortunately, traditionalists will hate this record, smoothjazz fans is totally out of the question and then there’s contemporary jazz lovers that will possibly lend their ears and finally the fusion fans, Where Art Thou? Without haste, “Vertical Vision” by Christian McBride Band will make a superb addition to your record collection therefore, I give McBride and his band major dap for straying away from the commercial side of music with this project to promptly deliver us this powerful musical masterpiece.