I believe that the different tracks on The Good Feeling allow The Christian McBride Big Band to stretch their collective limbs to the greatest possible degree. What results in this album is one of the largest collections of different influences and styles, created in a fashion that will have listeners of all age groups and styles listening along to every beat. The Good Feeling starts out with Shake ‘n Blake, a seven-plus minute introduction to the different elements of The Christian McBride Big Band. Where the track could have went into a “hey, how are you doing” type of style, I believe that this introduction is tempered well and bases itself around the expansion of different approaches and emotions first sprinkled in at the beginning.
Brother Mister, the disc’s third track, showcases the tendency of the status quo to be shaken up at a pin’s drop – there is no album-long constancy present here. However, this is not a bad thing – by requiring that the constituent elements of the band are continually on their feet, The Good Feeling is a much stronger album than would normally be present. Rather than grinding towards a halt with each subsequent track, I feel that the compositions at the second half of the album are qualitatively better than that of the first.
This means that I felt myself getting down to A Taste of Honey, a fun track that burns out brightly before the band sets themselves back up for the penultimate Bluesin’ in Alphabet City. With nary a weak track to be found here, The Good Feeling is one of the best jazz albums of the year.
Top Tracks: Shake ‘n Blake, The Shade of the Cedar Tree
The Christian McBride Big Band – The Good Feeling (CD) / 2011 !K7 / 11 Tracks / http://www.christianmcbride.com /