Christopher McBride – Ramon (ENG review)

Label self-released // Available February, 17th 2023
Christopher McBride – Ramon

Christopher McBride is a saxophonist based in Harlem whose work includes education, arrangement and composition, in addition to performance (saxophone). After a first album released in 2012, Quatuor de Force, he is back with this particularly successful album, Ramon, recently nominated for the Grammy Awards. This album also explores the various locations that inspired Christopher, from the Bronx in NY, and is Christopher’s first project since moving to New York. This is the unique aspect of this very urban album that bridges established jazz culture with contemporary urban influences.
But let’s take a moment to look at the diverse and varied talent of the band: 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.
The most amusing thing is the stunning ease with which one can listen to this album, each of its musicians having performed on New York stages, and not just, strange feeling of roaming the streets of this great city at night, moving from chapter to chapter like in a Paul Auster book, “Bronx Unchained” is certainly the composition that best represents this album, starting with an urban rhythm and then returning to the very essence of jazz while maintaining the original groove, a feat that only artists of this style can afford.
In any case, the small jazz world with this album sees the name of Christopher McBride in gold letters, he must now be counted among the great artists. Christopher McBride started his career in 2007 and moved to New York in 2013. His group The Whole Proof played throughout New York and Christopher directed his “Singer Meets Saxophonist” series at the famous Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem from 2017 to 2019.
In Harlem from 2017 to 2019, the musicians he performed with cover 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. So many exciting experiences have led to building this artist and bringing us this new CD Ramon that has delighted the Paris-Move and Bayou Blue radio editorial teams, selecting it for the “Indispensables”.

Thierry Docmac
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, February 1st 2023


Christopher McBride’s website