Christian McBride on the making of The Movement, RevisitedFebruary 22, 2011
February 22, 2011
Christian McBride had never even written a single set of lyrics when he was tasked to compose a suite for a gospel choir in 1998. So rather than entrust himself with the words, he turned to four of the most momentous speakers of the 20th century: Civil Rights icons Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Everything that those people said in the 60s had such weight and meaning to it, McBride says. My job was just to bring a little music to it and enhance it.
The Movement was expanded last year with the addition of a fifth movement inspired by Barack Obama. The election of Obama is a direct result of the Civil Rights movement, McBride explains. This is what King and Rosa Parks and Malcolm X had in mind. For them it was a dream; for us, its the reality.
Saturdays performance of The Movement, Revisited at the Annenberg Center, in celebration of Black History Month, will mark the suites premiere in McBrides native Philadelphia. For the occasion, McBride who parlayed his education at CAPA and the Clef Club into a career as one of the most in-demand bassists in modern jazz will be joined by UPenns New Spirit of Penn Gospel Choir and the Penn Jazz Ensemble, along with several alumni serving as narrators.