Friday, March 22, 2013

Kevin Eubanks: The Messenger

"Eclecticism was a creative prerogative for the guitarist Kevin Eubanks long before he took the musical helm of 'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,' when it became a corporate necessity. Mr. Eubanks left the show in 2010, and his output since has suggested a gentle but pointed reclamation. Consider the title and tone of 'Zen Food,' released on Mack Avenue that year. 'The Messenger,' due out on the same label on Tuesday, is a sharper and less self-conscious album, his most satisfying in more than a decade. An amalgam of funk and fusion, it also features some beautiful ballad writing, on songs like 'The Gloaming' and 'Sister Veil.' Mr. Eubanks’s longtime band, which includes Bill Pierce on saxophones and Marvin (Smitty) Smith on drums, supports the effortless flair of his playing —  as do Mr. Eubanks’s brothers, Robin (a trombonist) and Duane (a trumpeter), on a few tracks. And if nobody ever asked for a slow-groove version of John Coltrane’s 'Resolution' featuring Alvin Chea of Take 6, the result ends up exceeding all reasonable expectations, especially during a too-brief guitar solo" (Nate Chinen, "Playlist," New York Times, 2/15/13).

View catalog record here!


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