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You know that I'm about to say good things about a fellow Philadelphian, right? Hey, when it comes to Kevin Eubanks - ALL good is in order :)
This superb guitarist, composer, teacher and bandleader comes by his musicality naturally. Mom was a Gospel and Classical pianist and organist. Uncle Ray Bryant, a pianist whose focus was Jazz. Older brother, Robin, is a trombonist. Young brother, Duane, plays trumpet. Actually, Kevin played trumpet, too - and violin - along with piano - before falling in love with guitar. He joined a list of amazing alumni at The Settlement Music School in Philly (Albert Einstein, Stanley Clarke, Bacon Brothers) - then attended Berklee (who awarded him an honorary doctorate). Our guest's move to New York after college proved fruitful - an understatement. Kevin found work with Art Blakey, Roy Haynes and Slide Hampton - among others. And he formed his own quartet, with opportunities to fly over the world, sponsored by the U.S. State Department.
Naturally, you might know him best in the very high profile position that he had from 1995 to 2010 - as guitarist, then leader of "The Tonight Show" band, replacing Branford Marsalis.
What you may NOT know: Kevin has appeared on over 100 albums, his first recording as leader was in 1983 (age 25), he has more than 20 projects to his name, and he was named "World's Sexiest Vegetarian Man" in 2007. Oh, we'll definitely talk about that during the interview ;)
"The Messenger" is Kevin's latest work (2012) - and it's full of the honesty that he cultivates with each passing project. With all but two compositions original. And what he does to John Coltrane's "Resolution" alone is worth the price of the CD! We're having this chat on 3/18 in time for his Blues Alley events this week - please join us for 3rd hour conversation!
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It's good to talk.