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Robin Eubanks + EB3: Live Vol. 1 (2007)

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Robin Eubanks + EB3: Live Vol. 1 How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Trombonist Robin Eubanks believes in staying up with the times. Not that electric trombone, trumpet or saxophone are anything new but relatively few jazz artists use them in concert since the looping and the pedal work can be quite complex. The opportunity to see it done live or on DVD is always something special. Eubanks' contemporary trio performance with EB3 features several electronic instruments, such as keyboard, bass, percussion pads and his unique electronic trombone, providing a thrilling concert based on funk, blues and jazz's modern mainstream. Eubanks is a fine trombonist. His pure tone and superb articulation have been valuable additions to many musical situations, from big band swing to creative avant-garde.

Five of the CD's nine tracks appear on the 45-minute DVD along with the leader's commentary. On stage, he sets up loops that repeat with a funky beat, allowing him to turn his improvisatory authority loose. Watching Eubanks' foot pedals, you can see the switches being made and appreciate the eloquent outcome. The program ranges from a Jimi Hendrix tribute to a Latin jazz homage and several popular melodies that each recall the popular Beverly Hills Cop theme. Wayne Shorter's "House of Jade receives an echoing trombone interpretation that layers one voice over another, part of the plan coming from an acoustic trombone and part coming from his electronic alterations. The effect gives the song a whole new meaning, allowing us all to step into the 21st Century. It's something that must be seen to be believed.

Track Listing: CD: Me, Myself & I; Mojo Jojo; Indo; Solo Latin (for Eddie Palmieri and Chuco Valdes); Pentacourse; Blues for Jimi Hendrix; Jig Saw; House of Jade; X-Base. DVD: Introduction; Me, Myself & I; Mojo Jojo; Solo Latin (for Eddie Palmieri and Chuco Valdes); Blues for Jimi Hendrix; X-Base.

Personnel: Robin Eubanks: trombone (1-6, 9), electric trombone (1, 3, 6-9), percussion pads (1, 3, 4), loops (1, 4); Orrin Evans: keyboards (2, 3, 5, 6, 9), keyboard bass (3, 5, 9); Kenwood Dennard: drums (2, 3, 5-7, 9), keyboard bass (2, 3, 6, 7, 9).

Record Label: RKM Music

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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