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Vertical Vision Enhanced


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Audio CD, Enhanced, February 25, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Vertical Vision is bassist Christian McBride's Warner Bros. debut. Equally adept on acoustic and electric, McBride is a long-running Sting sideman, as well as a member of the late Ray Brown's inspirational SuperBass trio. Christian's own band is a very stable unit, its rapport thoroughly road-tested. The disc opens with a brief burst of 78rpm crackling, before McBride abruptly rips that old shellac off the player and substitutes the heavy-rockin' funk of his "Technicolor Nightmare." Both McBride and keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer are fond of convoluted melody lines, but their prettiness is usually scarred by the serrated surfaces turned out by saxophonist Ron Blake and guitarist David Gilmore (not the member of Pink Floyd). It's Keezer's ballad tendencies that most retain their smooth sheen. McBride's "The Wizard of Montara" is short and boppish, while his "Ballad of Little Girl Dancer" is the funkiest number, loaded up with chirping synths. Other highlights are the intricate "Lejos de Usted" and Joe Zawinul's "Boogie Woogie Waltz," where McBride gets to burn up his own fingers. This whole disc is very much in thrall to swirling 1970s fusion, and given a hard, dense production style that sometimes errs towards dulled and muted, particularly with the brutal rock heaviness of Terreon Gully's drums. This muscular delivery of sometimes lightweight tunes manages to convey a mixed message of risk-taking danger and commercial adaptability. --Martin Longley

1. Circa 1990
2. Technicolor Nightmare
3. Tahitian Pearl
4. The Wizard Of Montara
5. The Ballad Of Little Girl Dancer
6. Lejos De Usted
7. Precious One
8. Song For Maya
9. Boogie Woogie Waltz

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 25, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000084T3T
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,784 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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CHRISTIAN McBRIDE & INSIDE STRAIGHT
PEOPLE MUSIC

It’s not simply his abundant virtuosity that has made Christian McBride the most in-demand bassist of his generation. McBride consistently combines his deft musicianship with an innate ability to communicate his enthusiasm to an audience—a warm showmanship that transforms his own passion into infectious joy. It comes ... Read more in Amazon's Christian McBride Store

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on February 27, 2003
Format: Audio CD
There's a thing jazz artists have been struggling to do for as long as jazz has been identified as an authentic American popular music form: That's to make music that's true to its rich tradition of African-Creole rhythms (often filtered through a Latin lens), classical harmonies, and (perhaps the key element) improvisation, while still being listenable and accessible. What all too often happens is that one or more of these elements gets short shrift, and the music consequently slips into some kind of pseudo-jazz never-never land, a la "smooth jazz," "pop-jazz," or some other awful hybrid. Or, conversely, the music remains true to its heritage but becomes accessible only to the cognoscenti. To make hip, knowledgeable, authentic jazz is now and, really, always has been, something of a feat.
We seem to be blessed with an abundance of marvelous, even revelatory, jazz recordings that each in their own way meet the above criteria for greatness in what is still the first quarter of 2003. In no particular order, I would cite These Are the Vistas by the Bad Plus, Freak In by Dave Douglass, Smile by Jacky Terrasson, Grand Unification Theory by Stefon Harris, Cuban Odyssey by Jane Bunnett, Scolohofo, and certainly not least, Vertical Vision by the Christian McBride Band.
In some ways, Vertical Vision is my favorite of all. It's greatest virtue is its listenability. Seldom does such prodigious technique as McBride, still in his twenties, I believe, possesses get placed in such a listener-friendly setting. Any one of these cuts could be heard by a non-jazz fan and still be enjoyed, I believe. Yet, there is still plenty of compositional and improvisational meat for the hardcore jazzer.
Vertical Vision represents a significant step forward from McBride's last outing, Science Fiction.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Albert Porter on November 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I guess David Weitz really doesn't like this CD. That much has been established - TWICE! Once again, the comparisons to Weather Report are just plain LAZY. He says, "listen to the original version of "Boogie Woogie Waltz" - it's far superior" OF COURSE IT IS, SILLY!! It's the original! You still haven't addressed Christian on his own path. For goodness sakes, this is not his only CD. He now has, I think 5. Are you saying none of his 5 are worthy of compositional praise? Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny both have said he was a fine composer. You gonna argue with them? I dare you.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ryan on November 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Many may disagree that this is a must own, but I can't live without it. I saw these guys play live at the Dakota in St. Paul, MN and they are amazing. This has some of the best techinical playing and beautiful composition I have heard. All of my jazz heads love it, and my jazz-hating girlfriend will listen to it. You can't not groove to it. Keezer will blow your mind on the keys, Christian keeps the groove like the bass should, and the drums fit like a dream. The sax isn't the best, but it is more than made up for. Definately worth your money.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 2004
Format: Audio CD
A great CD, with great music and great musicians.
Very similair to Weather Report, but still has its own vibe to it.
My personal favorites are Techincolor Nightmare, The Ballad of the Little Dancer Girl, and the brilliant cover of Boogie Woogie Waltz.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Why people don't like this is beyond me? Sci-Fi was boring...this is fantastic. There are fusion numbers. The energy is back> The drums are fabulous
while the sax playing is different and edgy. Technicolor Nightmare is fabulous while Tahitian pearl is like a fusion ballad very much in the spirit of weather report. To call this warmed over weather report (a stupid and ignorant comparison ) is crazy. This heated and overboiling weather report. His cover of Boogie Woogie Waltz is better than the original. The cd is not uneven...its just not non-stop jamming.
People get some taste! try it again...
My only detraction is its not like seeing the live show with the string bass distortion shaking the floor.
Buy it! Its worth it!
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By David Lindsay on November 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Vertical Vision is superb. Many sax driven groups can sound the same and often try to recreate the sound of jazz in the 1960s. Christian McBride's band is different and on this album they incorporate electric instruments and modern rhythms. Every band member is a virtuoso and they all play with enthusiasm. There are some amazing solos but the music also sounds contemporary, it's jazz for the present day.

Ron Blake plays saxophones and flute, Geoff Keezer is on piano and keyboards, Terreon Gully plays drums, David Gilmore is on both acoustic and electric guitars, and Danny Sadownick plays percussion. It takes a few plays to really appreciate this album, but it contains some great music.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donnie on March 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I really wanted to give this record a fourth star but I just couldn't do it. This is an extremeley frustrating listen. Jan P. Dennis correctly points out that a few of the tunes tread dangerously close to smooth jazz. I would argue that on some tunes they go beyond treading close to actually taking on smooth jazz water. It's too bad because there's some really excellent, interesting music here. That's what makes this record so frustrating. I also think they should have credited more than just "Boogie Woogie Waltz" to Joe Zawinul. On more than a couple of occasions I thought I had put "Black Market" or Sweetnighter" in my player. ... Bottom line is that while there's some really great music here, I can't recommend it due to what I feel to be an uneven performance (especially when compared to the recent stellar releases from Dave Douglas and ScoLoHoFo).
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