With Out Here, premier bassist Christian McBride s fifth recording on Mack Avenue Records, McBride introduces his latest working group: a trio, fully embracing at age 41 his role as standard-bearer and mentor. Pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. both younger, emerging artists have been performing with McBride s smallest group for about three years, honing their trio conception to a fine point of expressive depth and nuance with select performances around the world. It s a pretty diversified trio, says McBride descriptively. The real core foundation is hardcore swingin, blues and the American songbook. Part of that is because Christian [Sands] is so well-rounded and willing to go to so many places, that I can t help but want to swing hard with him and Ulysses. McBride, however, thought he d never helm a jazz trio.
(5 stars) 'Out Here' is a revelation...it demonstrates top playing by all...what is so striking is the piano work of Christian Sands...Owens Jr underpins the action in this rhythm-tight trio, while McBride yet again proves why he is a master of bass technique, switching from fingers to bow. --BBC Music Magazine, (Neil McKim), October 2013
(4 stars) McBride is joined here by storming new-star pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr...Ham Hocks and Cabbage, is an initially sly-walking and then explosive soul-jazz sermon fit to blow the roof off in a nightclub. --The Guardian, (John Fordham), August 2, 2013
(4 stars) The bassist and his fellow young turks cut quite a dash. Stylish pianist Sands evokes the gospel-drenched spirits of Oscar Peterson, Monty Alexander and Benny Green while conveying a distinctive, in-the-tradition swagger of his own. --MOJO, (Chris Ingham), December 2013