The Messenger Album Release at Birdland,
Tuesday, April 9 through Saturday, April 13
Kevin Eubanks – guitar
Bill Pierce – saxophone
Rene Camacho – bass
Nate Smith – drums
Sets at 8:30pm & 11:00pm
315 West 44th Street, NYC
Phone – (212) 581-3080
Web – birdlandjazz.com
New Album Available Now on Mack Avenue Records –
Showcases Breadth of Artistic Influences
Guitarist/composer Kevin Eubanks is scheduled to perform at Birdland in New York, Tuesday, April 9 through Saturday, April 13, with sets at 8:30pm and 11:00pm. The five-night engagement is in support of Eubanks’ new critically acclaimed album, The Messenger (available now via Mack Avenue Records) and will feature saxophonist Bill Pierce, bassist Rene Camacho and drummer Nate Smith.
With his second Mack Avenue Records release, The Messenger, acclaimed Eubanks continues to explore his own unique musical vision. This vision offers the listener an opportunity to share a musical journey that truly exemplifies where Eubanks is at this stage of his illustrious career; one that, for over three decades, has seen him incorporate into his creative process a willingness to embrace the broad spectrum of his musical experience, while continuing to seek out new vistas.
The Messenger is a project that reflects not only the guitarist’s virtuosity on his instrument, but also his impressive compositional skills-writing all but two tracks. Best described simply as a “Kevin Eubanks” recording-without specific categorization-as his intent with The Messenger is to communicate the breadth of his artistic influences. “I wanted to branch out a little bit more on this recording,” Eubanks states. “I didn’t want to be as concerned with the ‘jazz sound’ as much; I wanted to let out a little bit more of what I’ve been musically exposed to.” Eubanks compares this philosophy to sports: “It’s like with professional athletes; most of those guys can play three or four sports. Society makes you choose one or the other. But that doesn’t change who you are inside,” or in Eubanks’ case, preventing him from showcasing his versatility on this album.
Eubanks is joined on most tracks by his sterling fellow quartet members: Billy Pierce on reeds, Rene Camacho on bass, Marvin “Smitty” Smith on drums and Joey De Leon, Jr. on percussion. This project also has a family flavor, featuring younger brother Duane on trumpet (“Sister Veil,” “JB,” “420”), and older brother Robin on trombone (“JB,” “Queen Of Hearts”). For Eubanks, in addition to his brothers making valuable contributions to this recording, their involvement is representative of something more. “Their participation came about through some conversations that we’ve had, and I asked them if they’d like to be a part of the record. We’ve actually been talking about doing a family project for years, so their participation is really an entry to that.”
Perhaps The Messenger‘s 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.”
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.
Kevin Eubanks · The Messenger
Mack Avenue Records · Release Date: February 19, 2013
For more information on Kevin Eubanks, please visit: kevineubanks.com
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