In a career that spans nine albums and two decades, bassist and composer Christian McBride has won Grammys and collaborated with big names in jazz, pop and hip hop.
This week, he dons a different hat – as Soundcheck’s guest host. Guests include NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, actress S. Epatha Merkerson and a James Brown tribute band led by McBride himself.
The new documentary “On the Shoulders of Giants” tells the story of the Harlem Rens, an all-black basketball team that played in New York at the height of the Harlem Renaissance cultural explosion. Guest host (and secret sports blogger) Christian McBride talks with two people behind the film, NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and composer Bill Cunliffe, about overlap between two golden eras of sports and the arts.
S. Epatha Merkerson is best known for her role on the TV series “Law & Order,” but her new documentary explores different territory. “The Contradictions of Fair Hope” chronicles the evolution of an African-American benevolent society that was founded to support newly freed slaves after the Civil War. Merkerson and fellow producer Rockell Metcalf talk about the project with guest host Christian McBride, who composed music for the film.
Jazz singer Gregory Porter looks like a linebacker – which makes sense, because that’s exactly what he used to be. Although a shoulder injury put an end to that career path, things have worked out pretty well for Porter--his 2010 recording debut, “Water,” earned him a Grammy nomination the following year. His sophomore effort is called “Be Good,” and he talks with guest host Christian McBride about the record and performs some of it live in our studio.