Featuring Orrin Evans and Kenwood Dennard
Robin Eubanks Releases New Self-Produced DVD-CD Project with Innovative Electronic Trio
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and educator Robin Eubanks has been using electronics to augment the sonic palette of his trombone for more than 15 years. His latest project, EB3 was created for the expressed purpose of exploring modern technology in the context of his live performances, while also advancing the art of trombone in general. All three members of the EB3 collective share a love for jazz, funk, and rock, not to mention a musical fluency in odd meters. Additionally, the band follows one guiding principle whereby each member must fulfill roles ordinarily handled by two or more musicians.
Robin's new project--a CD-DVD combo entitled LIVE VOL. 1, released on Ravi Coltrane's RKM Music, features Eubanks' signature original compositions. Eubanks uses various effects and processors to alter the trombone sound, including effects that emulate electric guitar. He also uses percussion pads with programmed sounds and creates on-the-spot arrangements using looping techniques, thereby accompanying himself (sometimes several times over) on both trombone and percussion pads.
The DVD portion of LIVE VOL. 1 highlights the band's multi-dimensional skills on five tracks -- Me, Myself, and I," Mojo Jojo," Solo Latin," Blues for Jimi Hendrix," and X-Base." The DVD illustrates each musician's dexterity handling more than one musical role each. Each member of the band plays bass parts on keyboards at different times. Drummer Kenwood Dennard, whose history with Eubanks dates to the mid-1980s, is able to play a full drum set with his right hand and feet while at the same time playing bass lines on keyboard with his left hand. Fellow Philadelphia native Orrin Evans plays melodies, chords, applies textures and solos, while also filling in on bass parts in his left hand. This innovative and deceptively effortless approach delivers exciting and energetic group play often sounding like a much bigger ensemble.
Eubanks is the premier jazz trombonist of his generation. An original and present member of multi-GRAMMY award-winning Dave Holland Quintet and Dave Holland Big Band, Eubanks has not only played trombone in both bands, but has contributed multiple compositions and arrangements for Holland's acclaimed groups. His musical influences range from James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and Led Zeppelin to Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane to Bla Bartk and Igor Stravinsky. He lacks musical boundaries.
My compositions can change fluidly from swing to funk to Latin to 11/8 or 7/4 without sounding forced or awkward," explains Eubanks. This allows me to draw upon all of my experiences. I have the freedom to create forms that unite diverse influences into new structures that are organic."
Robin Eubanks was born to a musical family. His mother is a pianist and music educator of more than 30 years. His brother, guitarist Kevin Eubanks, is the musical director for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Eubanks' uncle is the often-overlooked jazz pianist and composer Ray Bryant. Brother Duane is a New York-based jazz trumpeter. Robin's musical education began at the age of eight and continued through college, when he graduated cum laude from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Following his graduation, the young trombonist moved to New York City where he began a career that has since yielded an amazing array of collaborations with such notable artists as Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Eddie Palmieri, Sun Ra, Barbra Streisand, The Rolling Stones and Talking Heads, among many others.
Eubanks has won GRAMMY awards for his performances on Michael Brecker's Wide Angles and Dave Holland's albums What Goes Around and Overtime.
Ten years ago, Eubanks founded Mental Images, a band that served as his vehicle for composition and performance as a leader and has since recorded four albums of original music with the group. In 2002, he won a composition grant from Chamber Music America, followed by an ASCAP Composer's grant in 2003. Today Eubanks is as in-demand for commissions as he is for performances. As with his performing career, Eubanks' compositional interests are staggeringly diverse. Musically fluent, but also stylistically multilingual, the eclectic composer speaks a variety of musical languages."
Other notable commissions include Cause and Effect, which had its world premier with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra in 2003, string and horn arrangements for Freddie Cole's recording, This Is Always, Cross Currents" for the late JJ Johnson's Grammy-nominated recording, The Brass Orchestra, and an arrangement of Genesis for the McCoy Tyner Big Band.
Not only has Eubanks become an eminent musician, composer and performer. He is also a frequent lecturer and clinician at leading educational institutions throughout the U.S. and abroad. For the last nine years, Eubanks has divided his rigorous performing schedule with an appointment at The Oberlin College Conservatory where he serves as a tenured Professor of Jazz Trombone.
About Orrin Evans:
The New York Times has described Orrin Evans as ...a poised artist with an impressive template of ideas at his command". Not just young and talented, but a first call pianist from Philadelphia who has performed with Bilal, Ravi Coltrane, Elvis Costello, Roy Hargrove, and Branford Marsalis, among others. His contributions to EB3 include electronic keyboards; keyboard bass; computer based audio processing; jazz harmonies and funk grooves. A creative soloist, he is equally capable of producing inspiring melodic content, as he is profound harmonic textures and solidly funky bass lines.
About Kenwood Dennard:
Since graduating magna cum laude from Berklee in 1976, Kenwood Dennard has enjoyed a multifaceted, star-studded career as a performer, recording artist, and educator. He has toured the world with such greats as Pat Martino, George Clinton, Chick Corea, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Whitney Houston, Jaco Pastorius and Joe Zawinul; and led the Meta-Funk All-Stars, the Real Thing, and Quintessence. Dennard's numerous and notable recordings include Sting's Nothing Like the Sun (1987), Vanessa Williams's The Sweetest Days (1994), and Live at Montreux (1992), with Miles Davis and Quincy Jones.
RELEASE DATE: May 22, 2007