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Zen Food

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 22, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Guitarist Kevin Eubanks held one of the most coveted chairs in television for nearly 18 years as the leader of The Tonight Show Band, when his muse struck and prompted him to take his axe and move on. Kevin surely did not idle away what little free time he had during that tenure, touring everywhere in the country and world where time permitted him, plus releasing several CDs on his own imprint. Before taking the TV slot that boasted talents like Branford Marsalis and the venerated Doc Severinsen, Kevin had an acclaimed recording career spanning several labels garnering many awards and a host of followers along the way.

This release finds him in the company of his favorite players, most of whom can be found jamming with him at L.A.'s famed Baked Potato (a guitar paradise where Larry Carlton, Allan Holdsworth, Steve Lukather, Lee Ritenour, etc. have all performed). Run, don't walk, to the nearest player and check out Spider Monkey Café, The Dirty Monk and more sizzlin six-string songs.

Produced by Kevin Eubanks
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 22, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: November 22, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mack Avenue
  • ASIN: B0043SS250
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,912 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is not your fathers bebop. Conceive of jazz group Oregon meets 70s prog rock group Renaissance meets John coltrane. Add caffeine, make it very cerebral and you have This Kevin Eubanks recording. I am really struck by the concepts fleshed out by these musicians. This is a thoroughly progressive and professional CD. The present and future of jazz is in good hands with Mr. Eubanks. We should wish him continued success on his recordings to follow.
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Kevin Eubanks has performed with this band numerous times at the Baked Potato in Hollywood, and having seen them there a few times, I can say this definitely has the vibe of being there first-hand. Agree with the other reviewer about the production - rhythm section sounds a little muddy to me, but the playing is great. A worthy addition to Mr. Eubanks' catalog.
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Format: Audio CD
Kevin hasn't released anything in quite a while, so when I noticed a new offering from him at Borders, I decided to buy it, hoping that he kept to the tradition of those golden days of the 80s and early 90s when he released excellent jazz recordings. The fact that "Zen Food" also featured Smitty on drums, like on his earlier albums, helped me feel more secure about buying this album blind. Much to my satisfaction, Kevin's style hasn't changed much, and he still has the touch and the speed.

The playing on this album is inspired and creative, and I maintain that Kevin is at the forefront of modern jazz. His playing definitely matured, but his trademark licks and workouts are still recognizable, and hearing it all again in a new light has been delightful.

My favorite pieces are "The Dancing Sea", with its John McLaughlin-esque orchestration and harmony, and "Spider Monkey Cafe", with its gorgeous fat, storytelling tones and harmonic workouts that keep the tension on. They are catchy and well-organized, with plenty of fire coming from Kevin's fast, fluid, and soulful sound.

Overall, I would say I *really* enjoy about a half of this CD, and the other half is good but doesn't appeal to me as much, so upon repeated listening of the CD, I tend to skip some of the tracks. I'm sure, mileage will vary with listeners. Kevin still loves to dip into the avant-garde zone from time to time with his solos, and most of the time that draws me right in and hits the mark, but sometimes that simply gets muddy. A couple songs suffer from the latter, where I felt better direction and organization would have been beneficial.

Kevin seems to enjoy playing with a darker (muffled) guitar tone in this offering, kind of reminiscent of the Pat Metheny sound.
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Format: Audio CD
Really missed this guy. I know he's been active on other projects but hasn't put out an album for years, and so when I stumbled on this it made my day. From the first Album I bought of his years ago (Shadow Prophets) I was attracted to his very unique style of playing and his compositions. For me, this is very good album and well worth purchasing.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
We watched Kevin Eubanks for years on the Tonight Show but only after he left and returned as a musical guest did we see his true colors as a jazz musician. I liked what I heard and bought the CD as Christmas gift for the wife. It reminds me of some of the jazz fusion I listened to in college: Return to Forever and Weather Report. I recommend it if you liked Return to
Forever.
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This cd is like nothing I've ever heard. This is new territory Mr.Eubanks has explored. I love all good/great music from all genres and this compilation simply has vaulted into the rarified air of Miles, Coltrane, and many of the other greats.
This is a man to listen to, now and in the future.
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