Singer Meets Saxophonist
Christopher McBride featuring Queen Esther
206 W. 118th St.
Sunday, July 29th
Two sets — 7:30pm and 9pm
Doors open at 6pm!
For reservations, click here.
Superb alto saxophonist Christopher McBride has been slowly but steadily turning heads with his ubiquitous work as an invaluable sideman since the mid-aughts. Now Christopher is gaining respect amongst fans, critics and his peers as one of the most versatile musicians in the world. His 2012 debut album Quatuor de Force certainly establishes his ability to front a group and write his own soulful, melodically indelible tunes. Applauded for his ability to play in all musical situations, McBride has the ability to unleash a fiery attack and serrated tone, but on his recent album he explores a more measured, mellow sound heavily influenced by contemporary R&B—with a strong shot of Cannonball Adderley’s post-bop sensuality–but his improvising is very rigorous and cogent.
From 1935 – 1939, as the rest of the world waltzed their way through The Great Depression or lindy hopped to big bands, Miss Holiday recorded over 120 sides with some of the best soloists of the decade, including Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, Roy Eldridge, Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Cozy Cole, Jo Jones, Artie Shaw, Benny Morton and many, many more.
It was John Hammond – record producer, civil rights activist, music critic and aristocrat – who co-organized the very first “sing-swing” session in July 1935 with Teddy Wilson as bandleader when Miss Holiday was merely 20 years old. Armed with her new recording contract for Brunswick Records, their task was to record pop tunes in the new “swing” style for the burgeoning jukebox market. With Miss Holiday as instrumentalist on equal footing with the legendary musicians that accompanied her, what they created set the template for jazz vocalists, small combos and swing music, and created an immutable body of work.
Queen Esther will sing her way through the best of Billie Holiday’s sing swing sessions, with Christopher McBride’s organ trio.