A really fantastic large project by Christian McBride – maybe one of his most ambitious records ever, and one that really lives up to its intention! The movement here is the Civil Rights movement – recalled through the words of Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks, and Dr Martin Luther King Jr – then set to jazz instrumentation by a wonderful lineup that includes Warren Wolf on vibes, Steve Wilson on alto and flute, Ron Blake
on tenor and soprano sax, Michael
Dease and Steve Davis on trombones, Lew Soloff on trumpet, and Geoffrey Keezer on piano. Four different figures each take on the voices, with an approach that's as great as the music – actors Wendell Pierce, Vondie Curtis Hall, and Dion Graham – plus poet Sonia Sanchez – often shifting the words of the key figures throughout a single musical work, with results that are surprisingly powerful. Titles include "Brother Malcolm", "Sister Rosa", "Rumble In The Jungle", "Ali Speaks", "Soldiers", and "A View From The Mountaintop". A fantastic record – and one that reminds us of the great power in this nation, at a time when its light is sometimes eclipsed.