Christopher McBride is a saxophonist based in Harlem whose work includes education, arranging and composition in addition to performance. He has been slowly but steadily turning heads with his ubiquitous work as an invaluable sideman since the mid-aughts. Now Christopher is gaining respect amongst fans, critics, and his peers as one of the most versatile saxophonists in the world. His 2012 debut album Quatuor de Force certainly establishes his ability to front a group and write his own soulful, melodically indelible tunes. Applauded for his ability to play in all musical situations, McBride has the ability to unleash a fiery attack and serrated tone, but on his recent album he explores a more measured, mellow sound heavily influenced by contemporary R&B—with a strong shot of Cannonball Adderley’s post-bop sensuality—but his improvising is very rigorous and cogent.
Born in Chicago, and starting his professional career there in 2007, Christopher made the move to NYC in 2013. His group The Whole Proof has played venues all over New York, and Christopher ran his ‘Singer Meets Saxophonist’ series at the famed Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem from 2017-2019. The musicians he has performed for spans many genres with artists such as Billy Preston, Jimmy Heath, Bobby Broom, Percy Gray, Roy Hargrove, Pete Rock, Big Daddy Kane, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, Guy Sebastian, Solange, Ne-Yo, Jennifer Hudson, Alice Smith, Brandon Flowers, Lea DeLaria, 88 Keys, Milton Mustafa, Winard Harper, and the Marquis Hill Blacktet.
Christopher also serves as the Director of Education for the Second Line Arts Collective, a non-for-profit organization based out of New Orleans. His primary duties include writing curriculum for the Little Stompers division and teacher development. He has also worked as a journalist and consultant with Forbes Ignite, the innovation coalition of Forbes.
Ramon is the second cd by Recent Grammy Nominee Christopher McBride that covers the entirety of his musical experiences through childhood. Many genres intersect through the music, with a heavy emphasis on Swing. This album also explores different locations that have inspired Christopher, from The Bronx in NYC down to New Orleans. This will be Christopher’s first project released since moving to New York.
Christopher McBride – Saxophone
JS Williams: Trumpet
Jonathan Edward Thomas: Piano
Noah Jackson: Bass
Cedric Easton: Drums
Morgan Burrs (Track 6): Guitar
Bobby Broom (Track 3): Guitar
J Hoard (Track 5): Vocals
Kenny Bentley (Track 12): Tuba
Corey A. Wallace: Trombone
Luke Carlos O’Reiley: Piano (Track 13), Keys
1.) Lady D – This song was written for my mother Dianna McBride. Usually, songs about mothers would be something slower or sentimental, but my mother’s a hip lady and has lived an unbelievable life. I felt it was appropriate to give her a song that matched the fierceness and determination of the person.
2.) Welcome – Wanted to do something different with this introduction. I treat the album as a peak into my live show, so this is a
glimpse into what a show from The Whole Proof would look like.
3.) You Put A Smile On My Face ft. Bobby Broom – Dedicated to anyone who is listening to this record, and especially my longtime fans who has supported me since my first record. I love to smile and have a great time, so I hope that energy is felt in the piece
4.) Bronx Unchained – I wrote this composition after spending some unexpected time in the Bronx, a borough that has It’s own unique history. Known as the birthplace of Hip-Hop, I wanted the song to have a menacing, pulse pounding bear at the beginning and evolve from there.
5.) Your Eyes Can’t Lie ft. J. Hoard – In my humble opinion, I believe you can see a lot of what a person is thinking or feeling without them having to open their mouths. This composition was based off a friendship that
turned into something more than platonic, and lyrics capture the shift of the relationship change.
6.) Intimacy ft. Morgan Burrs – I’ve always believed intimacy and be a beautiful experience shared between two consenting people. Holding hands, hugs, spending intentional time together all are ways of intimate action without sex. Grateful that I’ve had these moments with special people in my life.
7.) Postlude – Sometimes you just gotta rock out with your band. We caught a moment in the studio,and it sounded good so I just kept it on the album.
Stand Your Ground, Pt. 1, 2 and 3: The Ballad of Trayvon Martin – I wrote this piece several days after the ‘not guilty’ verdict. I have always found this to be a fascinating case: George Zimmerman wasn’t an officer, but a citizen who was advised to wait and took matters into his own hands. I now often wonder what the verdict would’ve been if this was after George Floyd, but injustice missed here made it possible for justice to be served for later victims after Trayvon.
8.) Stand Your Ground: Stand Your Ground, Pt. 1 – Suspicion – I wanted to be in the space of walking home and feeling that there is danger looming in the background. Trayvon (a teenager at the time) was simply walking home, and was getting followed by an adult man. I know that anxious feeling of not knowing a person’s intent.
9.) Stand Your Ground, Pt. 2 – Confrontation – The fateful confrontation between Trayvon and his murderer.
10.) Stand Your Ground, Pt. 3 – In Memoriam: The Ballad of Trayvon Martin – The third movement is meant as a requiem for Trayvon. He was murdered and taken from us too soon.
11.) Dope (For the steppers) – I had my hometown in mind for this one. Chicago loves a good song you can step to, and I wanted that energy throughout this composition.
12.) Girl Get ‘Em ft. Kenny Bentley – Dedicated to the ladies, wanted this piece to feel good to dance to. Also a musical ode to one of my favorite cities and the Birthplace of Black American Music (Swing, Jazz), New Orleans.
13.) Your Eyes Can’t Lie (Instrumental) – A longer version with extended solos for the instrumentalists in the band.