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Christian McBride finds the groove again in his latest album, 'Prime'

Christian McBride
Ebru Yildiz
Courtesy of Artist
Christian McBride

When you hear a great jazz band perform, what you're hearing is a connection between musicians. Players who are on the same wavelength — and even when one plays a solo or goes off in their own improvised direction — it's all held together by the groove.

Christian McBride has spent his career laying down that groove as a jazz double bassist, appearing on innumerable recordings in a wide variety of genres, backing everyone from The Roots to Chaka Khan to Paul McCartney to James Brown. He's also put out his own Grammy-winning albums.

His latest album, with his band Christian McBride's New Jawn, is called Prime. It's his second album with that group and his 18th as a band leader.

Christian joins us to talk about falling in love with jazz and how he thinks about leading a jazz band from the bass player's position. You'll also hear the band perform live — beginning with the mind-boggling opening track from Prime, "Head Bedlam."

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Raina Douris
Raina Douris, an award-winning radio personality from Toronto, Ontario, is the host and writer of NPR's daily nationally-syndicated music interview and discovery program World Cafe. She has interviewed artists like Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Questlove and Brandi Carlile, and was a 2022 keynote lecturer on the topic of Folk Music and music discovery at the Chautauqua Institution.
Brian Divver