Christian McBride has paid his respects to a trio of jazz giants on his new Big Band album For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver.
The titular trio are organist Jimmy Smith, guitarist Wes Montgomery and arranger Oliver Nelson. In 1966, Smith and Montgomery recorded their classic big band albums The Dynamic Duo and Further Adventures of Jimmy and Wes, both of which were arranged by Nelson.
On For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver, McBride plays alongside guitarist Mark Whitfield, drummer Quincy Phillips, saxophonists Steve Wilson and Ron Blake, trumpeters Freddie Hendrix and Brandon Lee, pianist Xavier Davis and organist Joey DeFrancesco, amongst many more. Together, they take on Montgomery’s “Road Song” and Nelson’s original arrangement of Miles Davis’ “Milestones,” plus eight other cuts.
“Joey is, without question, my oldest friend in music,” McBride shared in a statement. “We met in middle school playing in the Settlement Music School Jazz Ensemble in Philadelphia. We’ve recorded a few things here and there over the years, but we’ve never recorded an entire album together until now. It seemed logical to salute the two albums that we listened to quite a bit as kids.” McBride added that he and DeFrancesco listened to those aforementioned albums endlessly in their early years, wearing out their vinyl pressings.
For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver is McBride’s second release for the year, following his album-length homage to the leaders of the United States’ civil rights movement on The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons.
Listen to For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver below: