It has been three years since keyboardist extraordinaire Joe McBride recorded his last CD, but as recently as September 2005, Joe has since returned with a brand new release entitled Texas Hold ‘Em on the Heads Up International Record Label. By and large, this latest effort may well be his most prolific recording to date. What is even more significant is the theme behind Texas Hold ‘Em; this time out, Joe combines jazz and poker as a backdrop for a listening experience that pushes the envelope of creativity.
With seven Heads Up releases under his belt, another side of Joe McBride is seen as a multi-faceted writer and musician. With the Texas Rhythm Club Band behind him, the CD is filled with fluid-like jazz licks and some very revealing compositions. As jazz is the impetus behind this latest release, Joe has some unique thoughts that makes this recording special. He believes: "Poker transcends age; in fact, it’s such a popular card game, and right now poker is hot because it is for everyone." Just as in the game of poker, jazz is all about taking advantage of the unknown, while utilizing one’s instincts to improvise and develop a winning strategy. Nowadays, poker is not just a game for old men in smoke-filled rooms; it has recently evolved into various online outlets, as well as highly-touted televised games of chance, which includes the World Series of Poker on Arts and Entertainment television. The game is all about skill and pitting the best players against each other in order to achieve a positive result. Jazz is very much a part of that strategy musically.
The most entertaining poker games have some of the best players around involved. Joe McBride has basically done the exact same thing with the recording of Texas Hold ‘Em. With the Texas Rhythm Club Band involved, some of the State of Texas’ best jazz musicians have come together with McBride to record one of the best contemporary jazz albums to date. Each of the seven members are extremely capable in their own right, while Joe McBride is one of the genre’s finest keyboardists and singers. Collectively, these guys are a jazz activated sound energy ray of excitement.
There are eleven tracks of original compositions and cover songs that exemplify the game of poker as well as some all-time classic recordings. With names like "Double Down," "Texas Hold ‘Em" and a host of other highly descriptive caveats, jazz and poker definitely work well together. Even more exciting is Joe McBride the vocalist, whose abilities as a singer are just as phenomenal as his keyboard antics. On the tracks entitled "Giving It All to You" and "I’m Here for You," Joe exhibits a melodiously soulful side that will put a romantic groove inside the heart. All-in-all, the combined ingredients associated with the recording of "Texas Hold ‘Em" makes this CD well worth a listen, one that will definitely soothe the desire for quality sounding contemporary jazz.With the recording of Texas Hold ‘Em, Joe McBride has taken the game of poker and jazz to higher level of relevance. In addition, the CD is fresh and vibrant in approach and is filled with tunes that highlight poker’s overall impact on society. Other stylized influences that include rock & roll and a touch of R&B provide yet another view of Joe McBride the artist.