Bassist Christian McBride has ties to Wynton Marsalis and Juilliard, which I suspect keep him from testing the limits of jazz in the fashion his skills would allow. But the guy’s young (24), hip (digs James Brown), mercurial (I’ve seen him trade licks with pianist Anthony Wonsey that were so physical a brawl seemed the likely conclusion), and tonight he’s in charge. His quartet plays tonight and tomorrow at 8 & 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Rear Wisconsin Ave. NW. $18. (202) 337-4141. (Brett Anderson)