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Good luck! Your Friends at Mack AvenueAbout Zen Food
For nearly two decades, the world at large knew precisely where to find the acclaimed guitarist Kevin Eubanks. For five nights a week, Eubanks was cranking up the band and issuing steamy solos as music director on NBC's 'Tonight Show with Jay Leno.' In spring of 2010, after 18 years on the job, Eubanks decided to move on, although retirement was the last thing on his mind. That much is clearly stated in potent musical terms on Zen Food
, his first recording for the Mack Avenue label.Zen Food
is a statement of purpose for a guitarist who, in the 15 years before landing his coveted gig in Burbank, built a reputation as one of the more adventurous and anti-ism guitarists. In fact, Eubanks has been tending his personal musical muse for years, working on material and honing his band in Los Angeles after work" at the famed Baked Potato.
In his band, Eubanks has a powerful rhythm section ally in drummer Marvin Smitty" Smith, who, like Eubanks, was a commanding presence on the music scene before heading west to the Tonight Show" bandstand. Completing the ranks of this bold unit, which deftly combines fusion" in the best sense with other stylistic turns, are saxophonist Bill Pierce, who holds the Woodwind Chair at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, keyboardist Gerry Etkins and bassist Rene Camacho. Zen Food
evokes a sense of diversity and also collective continuity, qualities long in the making, and now ready to hit the road" in a global way.
This new" chapter in Eubanks' life is, as he says, not so foreign, because that's all I used to do. It's just at a different level. Musically, I'm at a different level, as well as personally. Everything is in a progressive state, with more experience in a lot of areas. It should be an interesting adventure."
As for his long stint as musical foil for Jay Leno, Eubanks asserts, I enjoyed the job. I enjoyed learning all these new things and meeting new people, and just seeing another side of what I didn't know. Where I cut my teeth, I was never privy to what happens in Hollywood, by and large. I heard about it and knew a few people here and there. So, to get a bird's eye view of all that was fascinating, and it still is."
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