I don't think I ever saw Inside Straight before. It's Christian's "side project" that was formed by happenstance for a previous run at the Vanguard. After that run, it was suggested to him that this become his band. He couldn't ditch his current band, who he enjoys playing and being with, so he kept both. I am so glad he did. This band really is something special.
You know when there's a vibraphone on the stage that it's going to be quite lively. It sure was. Christian doesn't like playing to watching audiences. To that I say, then play somewhere with no seats where we can dance. Then, it's likely they will be paid a lot less and I will be one of 5 people dancing.
It was also awesome that there was vibraphone trouble in the middle of the set. I learned that the keys are held together by a string and one row broke. I was sitting in that seat right under the speaker that is on the level of the stage, right in front of the vibes. Therefor, I could see what it looked like when they removed the row and how they replaced and attached the row once they came back with the new string strung through the keys. They were able to take care of this during one song that didn't need the vibes.
The music was awesome! I love an intense drummer. They were all phenomenal.
At one point, Christian told us they were going to play a familiar song that we wouldn't recognize until the end, but would make us want to tap our feet. It WAS pretty grooving. It turned out it was the theme song to Law and Order. I didn't know the song had such a groove before the part they chose.
I enjoyed the set thoroughly and won't hesitate to see Inside Straight again at any future opportunities.
Christian McBride acoustic bass
Steve Wilson alto, soprano saxophone
Warren Wolf, Jr. vibes
Gerald Clayton piano
Carl Allen drums