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February 13, 2012

Christian McBride Wins 2012 Grammy for Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album

"The project couldn't be more aptly titled," states McBride, reflecting on the win. "That's exactly how I feel!"

"As one of the most prolific musicians of his generation, Christian has won several GRAMMY® Awards as a sideman but had never been nominated as a leader," states Denny Stilwell, President of Mack Avenue Records. "When news broke that he received his first nomination for the ambitious big band project, we were thrilled for him. And now that he has won, we are even more thrilled. Congratulations, Christian!"

In 2011, in addition to The Good Feeling, McBride also released the critically-acclaimed album, Conversations With Christian (on November 8).

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For over 20 years, McBride has appeared in numerous musical settings with just about any musician imaginable in the jazz as well as R&B and pop worlds. From playing with the likes of Milt Jackson, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny; to playing with and/or arranging for the likes of Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Lalah Hathaway, Sting and the legendary James Brown, what has always been unique about McBride is his versatility. In addition to his work in the neo-soul arena with The Roots, D'Angelo, Queen Latifah and others, the Philadelphia native has also led his own ensembles: The Christian McBride Band, A Christian McBride Situation and his most recent group, "Inside Straight" (fresh off their critically acclaimed 2009 effort, Kind of Brown). There are many sides to the musical persona of McBride, and The Good Feeling has him realizing another one: as the leader, arranger and conductor of his big band.

McBride's first foray into the world of big band composing and arranging dates back to 1995, when he was commissioned by Jazz At Lincoln Center to write Bluesin' in Alphabet City, featured on The Good Feeling and originally debuted by Wynton Marsalis & The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra. Since that time he has composed a number of pieces for larger ensembles including The Movement Revisited, a five movement suite dedicated to four of the major figures of the civil rights movement: Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

At McBride's core is The Good Feeling, his first full-fledged big band recording, that is presented in a truly impressive fashion. He sought the advice of some of the most accomplished arrangers around, such as Jimmy Heath and John Clayton; and referenced material by the likes of Oliver Nelson, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones and Don Sebesky, among others The album features classic, "staple" tunes along with original McBride compositions (the perfect balance and platform on which to showcase the band).