Out HereWith Out Here, premier bassist Christian McBride s fifth recording on Mack Avenue Records, McBride introduces his latest working group: a trio, fully embracing at age 41 his role as standard-bearer and mentor. Pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. both younger, emerging artists have been performing with McBride s smallest group for about three years, honing their trio conception to a fine point of expressive depth and nuance with select performances around the world. Out Here is McBride s 11th recording as a leader. Since the early 1990s he has recorded on over 300 dates as a sideman. Aside from relatively recent travels with Pat Metheny; Chick Corea, Roy Haynes, John McLaughlin and Kenny Garrett; the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 55th Anniversary; and residencies and artistic leadership roles with organizations ranging from New York s 92nd St. Y and Jazz House Kids to NJPAC, McBride has toured consistently for several years with his own quintet, Inside Straight. He also fronts the Christian McBride Big Band, whose Mack Avenue recording, The Good Feeling, won the GRAMMY Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 2012 his third GRAMMY win overall. With Sands and Owens, McBride exhales with relief since they play the full spectrum of the music at will. Out Here opens with Ham Hocks and Cabbage, a flowing, feel-good, down-home blues with intro by Sands and melody by McBride. Oscar Peterson s Hallelujah Time is a praise song to the divine taken up-tempo, with rejoicing solo turns by McBride on bow; and Sands, who trades eights with Owens before the trio closes with panache. An even faster tempo emboldens their reenactment of the Ahmad Jamal trio arrangement of Cherokee, alternating a waltz tempo with jet-speed precision rarely attempted since the glory days of bebop. Owens especially shines here, demonstrating a range of brush and stick work worthy of envy. McBride s talent and mark on the music scene transcend genre, so he s no longer under Ray Brown s shadow. And on this recording, his trio hits a jazz sweet spot. For listeners of Out Here, the result is music for the soul.