• This Week In JazzSet History: Christian McBride/Ray Brown Duet and "Tain"!!!

    April 18, 2012. Posted by Alex Ariff.

    Alexander Gelles Ariff is a musician/composer and graduate student in the Jazz History & Research Program at Rutgers University-Newark. Each week, he resurfaces gems from past JazzSets.

    This week in JazzSet history, it’s all about the music! In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, I’d like to express my appreciation for the preservation of great music. The JazzSet archive is like a time capsule into  the past 20 years of jazz—an ever evolving music. JazzSet captures the spontaneity of the live performance. I’m presenting a special gem this week: a duet between a 68-year-old Ray Brown and 22-year-old Christian McBride. Below is a recent photo of McBride that I shot at the Jazz House Kids summer concert in Montclair, NJ.


    Ray Brown and Christian McBride performed a duet at 1994 Monterey Jazz Festival. The recording first aired April 22, 1995. They take their time at the beginning of each tune. First is “Things Ain't What They Used To Be,” and McBride takes the first solo. Second is the tune “Bye, Bye Blackbird." If you listen closely you can hear the audience singing along—you can also hear grunts of satisfaction from the bassists as the two engage in a musical conversation while trading-fours.


    Beware! The wrath of "Tain"!! When drum Jeff "Tain" Watts is behind the kit, there is no groove he cannot tackle. In 2001, Watts brought in his 41st birthday at The Village Vanguard. JazzSet, with many thanks to proprietor Lorraine Gordon, aired the Jeff “Tain” Watts’ debut band: Ravi Coltrane, tenor; Paul Bollenbeck, guitar; David Budway, piano; Eric Revis, bass. The clip below begins in the piano solo and works its way to the end. The tune’s title—and the title of Watts’ debut album as a leader --is “The Impaler.” (We think this might be Watts' first week as a leader at The Vanguard. --Ed.)

    In an interview with JazzSet host Branford Marsalis, Watts explained how his roots culminated into forming The Impaler. Tain said, "A good thing about my generation is we were privy to Motown and James Brown, Classic R&B and Rock, but at the other side of the spectrum we were still 18 and 19 years old when Hip-Hop was put into effect.” Your work is much appreciated, Mister Tain, your exceptional drumming bares all!

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