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<i>Superbass 2</i> Features Three Great Jazz Bassists - 2001-09-11

Three of the world's best jazz bass players have released a sequel to their 1996 live CD of the world's best jazz bass players Superbass. Superbass 2, featuring Ray Brown, Christian McBride and John Clayton, was recorded during the trio's three-night engagement at New York's Blue Note jazz club in December 2000.

Who would have thought that three bass players alone could make up a jazz group? But after hearing this unique joining of forces, it's clear why audiences keep coming back for more. Three of the 12 tunes on Superbass 2 were written by George Gershwin, including his classic, "Summertime."

The album is not just bass however. There are two audience participation selections with percussionist George Fludas, and a pair of duets featuring Brown with each of the younger players.

On the improvised duet, Ray Brown takes the first solo on Dizzy Gillespie's "Birk's Works", followed by a searing bass solo by Christian McBride.

At 29, Christian McBride proves why he's an even match with the elder statesman Ray Brown, who at 74, just gets better with age.

Arriving in New York in 1945, Ray Brown mastered be-bop with groups led by Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Bud Powell. Brown was once married to Ella Fitzgerald, his musical partner as well. He later worked with the Modern Jazz Quartet and Oscar Peterson.

Philadelphia-native Christian McBride has performed with Roy Hargrove, Chick Corea, Joshua Redman and others. He appeared with singer Diana Krall on her million-selling album Love Scenes.

A one-time student of Ray Brown's, John Clayton is a respected performer, composer and arranger of both jazz and classical music. He is the Artistic Director of Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and co-leader of the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra and Clayton Brothers Quintet. The three-time Grammy-nominated bass man takes the lead on his own composition, "Three By Four."

John Clayton's "Three By Four" is one of a dozen tracks from Superbass 2, featuring Clayton, Ray Brown and Christian McBride, who also arranged a version of the Harold Arlen classic, "Get Happy."