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Studio Sessions from KNKX Public Radio feature some of the best jazz and blues musicians. Performing from downtown Seattle, we feature artists such as Arturo Sandoval, Gregory Porter, Christian McBride and more! KNKX thanks Jim and Birte Falconer for their support of studio sessions and a free, independent and energetic press, who urge listeners to get involved in their local community, and to support KNKX.

Christian McBride: The bass boss

Justin Steyer
Bassist Christian McBride and pianist Peter Martin perform in the KPLU studios on April 5, 2012.

In the first generation of be-bop musicians, Ray Brown was King of the Jazz Bass.  Today, the ‘go-to’ jazz bassist is Christian McBride, so we felt quite lucky when he said he had the time to stop into to KPLU studios for a performance with pianist, Peter Martin.

Christian talked about his formative years, the difference between playing with vocalists as opposed to instrumentalists and reminisced about his mentor, the afore-mentioned Ray Brown, and another great bassist of be-bob’s first generation, Charles Mingus.

He and Martin also treated us to their duo arrangements of Milt Jackson’s ‘SKJ’ (see video above), McBride’s own ‘Used ‘Ta Could’ (below) and closed with a beautiful rendition of Duke Ellington’s ‘Sophisticated Lady.’  Ray Brown may be gone but the mantle of King of the Jazz Bass couldn’t be in better hands than those of Christian McBride.

Justin joined KNKX in 2009 as the station's first Multimedia Manager. In this role, Justin helped to produce multimedia content, and implement systems and procedures in efforts to transform KNKX from a traditional broadcast station into a multi-platform media organization.
Abe grew up in Western Washington, a 3rd generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.