Grammy Award-winning bassist Christian McBride adds label co-founder and executive to his resumé with the launch of imprint Brother Mister Productions in partnership with Mack Avenue Music Group. The first release under the imprint will be the debut album from Christian McBride’s New Jawn (Oct. 26), the musician/bandleader’s newest group featuring trumpeter Josh Evans, saxophonist Marcus Strickland and drummer Nasheet Waits.
“Christian has been an inspiring creative partner for Mack Avenue,” stated Mack Avenue Music Group president Denny Stilwell in a release announcing the imprint. “His body of work with Inside Straight, the trio, the big band and the recently formed New Jawn, just to name a few, is beyond impressive. Taking our relationship to this next level and working with him on Brother Mister Productions is logical, invigorating and provides a platform for Brother Mister himself to spread his wings even further.”
Added McBride, “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d have an imprint. I’m grateful to Mack Avenue for the opportunity to spotlight current and future projects I’m excited about.”
Subsequent releases from Brother Mister Productions will include both well-established and developing artists. The imprint derives its name from James Brown, who frequently used the prefix “Brother” or “Mister.” While rehearsing for what became Brown’s final concert in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl in September 2006, the Godfather of Soul referred to McBride — his music director for the show — as “Brother Mister McBride” which McBride never forgot. In fact, McBride has since segued into the club DJ arena under the moniker DJ Brother Mister.
In addition to his work as a bassist, bandleader, composer and arranger, McBride doubles as host of his NPR-distributed radio show “Jazz Night in America” and his SiriusXM radio show “The Lowdown: Conversations with Christian.” He was recently appointed artistic director of the historic Newport Jazz Festival. He also holds several other artistic directorships, among them NJPAC, Jazz House Kids, JAS Aspen Summer Academy and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
Mack Avenue Music Group garnered eight nominations for the 60th annual Grammy Awards in January 2018 (including wins for McBride, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Billy Childs). The company is home to five other imprints: Artistry Music, Rendezvous Music, Sly Dog Records, MaxJazz and Detroit Music Factory.