Christian McBride was born and bred in Philadelphia, but it's no surprise that St. Louis jazz fans take a special interest in him. After all, McBride made his St. Louis debut in 1991 at the age of 19, and he's made frequent return visits over the past decade, building a solid base of enthusiastic fans for his skillful, wide-ranging work on both acoustic and electric bass.
Unlike many of the talented young players who have made an impact on jazz over the past decade, McBride has no qualms about stretching out to perform music that falls outside the usual jazz tradition. As you might expect from a kid growing up in Philly, McBride's a big fan of vintage soul and funk, and he touches those bases expertly on versions of tunes by Kool and the Gang, Stevie Wonder and Sly Stone on his Family Affair CD. His latest recording, Sci-Fi, includes his take on tunes by Steely Dan and fusion-era Stanley Clarke. In the company of pianist Geoff Keezer, tenor-sax player Ron Blake and drummer Terrion Gully, McBride's appearance at Jazz at the Bistro this week promises to be a great chance for local fans to catch up with one of their longtime faves.