Share This Page

Nimble Eubanks makes an excellent 'Messenger'

| Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, 3:20 p.m.
Kevin Eubank's 'The Messinger'

‘The Messenger'

Kevin Eubanks (Mack Avenue)

“The Messenger” is as much a show of the talent of the Eubanks' family as it is of Kevin's by itself. The straight-ahead collection of 11 pieces by the guitarist — and a version of John Coltrane's “Resolution” — features brothers trombonist Robin on three pieces and trumpeter Duane on two. They help to contribute to the band's sound that changes from piece to piece because of shifting personnel. The band features saxophonist Bill Pierce and bassist Rene Camacho on nine songs, and drummer Marvin “Smitty” Smith on eight, setting a steady sound. But the addition of Duane Eubanks on the moody “Sister Veil” and Robin on “JB”, for instance, help change the tone. One thing that is the same throughout is the work of Eubanks, who can crank out a funky solo or move back to a milder approach as he does on “M.I.N.D.” Whatever the approach, the nimble Eubanks has a style he is shaping into an identifiable one. The album is available Tuesday.

‘Smash'

Patricia Barber (Concord Jazz)

‘A Quiet Thing'

Madeline Eastman and Randy Porter (Mad-Kat)

Patricia Barber and Madeline Eastman are two serious singers. They look at songs as works of art in which the lyrics and melodies are to be explored with respect and understanding of each other. On “Smash,” Barber presents 12 originals that are written with the craftsmanship of a poet. The mood ranges from an optimistic “Devil' Food” to the grim “Spring Song” and its thoughts: “April comes and winter gardens grow without him.” She leads a quartet and offers the songs in a deep voice that is as serious as the songs. Eastman's “A Quiet Thing” is a much lighter album in its offering of 14 tunes such as “I Think It's Going to Rain Today” and “Alfie.” Roaming through offerings from such composers as Alec Wilder and Stephen Sondheim, she and pianist Randy Porter operate in rather much a cabaret setting. She is a mezzo who examines all of these works faithfully, even if she brings down the mood a bit on “Pick Yourself Up.” Both of these performers make many jazz singers appear as if they are only fooling around.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.