Kevin Eubanks: Tonight Show Guitarist on Acoustic

Here’s former Tonight Show Band Leader and Guitarist Kevin Eubanks, doing some improvisations on acoustic guitar.

Obviously, the Tonight Show was a giant gig for Kevin, and if you tuned in… he was so much more than just a great guitarist.

Kevin is the real deal, and a look into his biography to see all the things he’s accomplished is worth reading.

The following writ up is from Kevin’s web site which is primarily discussing his new CD Release:

“Perhaps The Messenger is most distinctive element is its broad sense of musicality. This is certainly, in part, attributable to Eubanks’ experience with leading The Tonight Show with Jay Leno band for so many years. But it is much more than that. Eubanks’ prestigious tenure there is probably more indicative of a situation that was a perfect fit for his musical personality. As Eubanks views it, ‘‘to me, it’s all just music.”

For this album, it was important for Eubanks not only to embrace his musical philosophies, but also to reflect the common thread that exists throughout all of contemporary music; for example, the aforementioned rhythmic, funky, groove-oriented nature of several tracks on the project. “I love playing funk; I grew up playing it. The ‘Motown Sound’? They were jazz musicians! If I had played ‘420’ for some cats who are real ‘funkateers,’ they’d say, ‘Whoa, I hear some Sly [Stone] in there, and I’m thinking, ‘Ok, it looks like I’m good to go.’ It felt good and very natural to me. As jazz musicians, we can play anything.”

The Messenger is Eubanks’ testament to being musically honest. It’s a realization of what he feels is particularly important at this point of career and his life. “I feel that I’m at the point where I just have to be me,” he says. “I want to do what has the most immediate honesty, and just lay it out.” Throughout the album there is a feeling of exploration and revelation that invites the listener in. The guitarist never ceases to surprise, creating a program reflecting that honesty—offering a full range of moods, textures and tempos.

With this album, Kevin Eubanks takes another step in his evolution not only as a guitarist and composer, but also as a musical communicator. It’s his way of making a statement about his personal view regarding the musical spectrum and its place in our lives, with sincere ideas of spreading the word to others. Arriving at the name of the title tune, Eubanks explains, “There is an urgency about it; it has the energy of a message that really should get across. The Messenger, I feel, is in everyone. We’re at the point [in our lives], that whatever it is that you feel strongly about, that can help a person or persons that you love, or a situation that affects your life…you should let that message out”.

By adding another sterling recording to his outstanding repertoire, Eubanks has done just that—let his message out. The Messenger is a project that not only showcases the outstanding technical facility from the guitarist and his bandmates, but also is full of music that is soulful and energetic, as well as emotive, earthy, with a touch of the blues. And for Kevin Eubanks, it represents a message successfully delivered.” read more

Here’s the CD available at Amazon, just click on the box.


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