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Christian McBride’s “But Who’s Gonna Play the Melody?”

March 23, 2024

GRAMMY® Award-Winning Bassists and Composers  Christian McBride and Edgar Meyer Released New Album But Who’s Gonna Play The Melody?

via Mack Avenue Records Friday, March 22nd
 Limited Edition 2-LP Light Blue Vinyl to be Released Exclusively with Record Store Day 2024 on April 20

“McBride and Meyer explore all manners of music while defying genre divides… Together they draw on a multitude of genres, plucking, bowing and showing just how expressive their 20-pound instruments can be.”

The Associated Press

March 22, 2024: Today, 8-time GRAMMY® Award winner Christian McBride has released his new album recorded with renowned bassist and composer and 7-time GRAMMY® Award winner Edgar Meyer, But Who’s Gonna Play The Melody? The album explores the vast variety possible with the pairing of two limitless bassists, encompassing diverse original compositions, American Songbook standards, and familiar classics by jazz and bluegrass masters. McBride and Meyer have also shared a new video performance of “Bass Duo #1.” The album releases today via Mack Avenue Records, and is currently available for digital and CD purchase here, and will be available as an exclusive 2-LP vinyl Record Store Day Release on April 20.

Watch: Christian McBride & Edgar Meyer – “Bass Duo #1”

“Edgar and I come from two different places,” McBride explains. “I come from the jazz and R&B worlds with a little bit of classical, and he comes from the bluegrass and classical worlds with a little bit of jazz. With this album we’re meeting each other in uncharted territory.”

In January, McBride and Meyer released the track “Barnyard Disturbance,” which draws on both blues and country influences and finds McBride and Meyer extracting the full range of sonic possibilities from their instruments. This was followed by the single “Philly Slop.”

McBride and Meyer were initially introduced by their mutual mentor, the legendary jazz bassist Ray Brown. It took nearly a decade before they shared a stage together in 2007 under the auspices of Jazz Aspen Snowmass, the Colorado-based non-profit jazz performance and education organization. The pair quickly discovered that the common ground between their disparate backgrounds was a firm foundation in the blues.

Hundreds of miles separate Meyer’s hometown of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and McBride’s in Philadelphia, but their roots feel intertwined throughout But Who’s Gonna Play the Melody? “The center of our connection is in things that are earthy and funky and rooted in a blues dimension,” Meyer says. “Then it ranges out from there.”

Intimate and raucous, playful and exquisite, gritty and refined – But Who’s Gonna Play the Melody? reveals worlds of influence, experience and inspiration in just two basses. While Meyer is the first to profess that “the bass is a pretty limited instrument,” in his and McBride’s hands it sounds as close to limitless as it ever has.