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Kevin Eubanks, Stanley Jordan


Kevin Eubanks&Stanley Jordan - Duets 01. Morning Sun (4:09) 02. Summertime (5:14) 03. Nature Boy (5:44) 04. Someone Like You (5:15) 05. A Child Is Born (6:16) 06. Old School Jam (4:33) 07. Vibes (4:18) 08. Blue in Green (3:14) 09. Lights (5:06) 10. Goin' on Home (4:30)
  • Kevin Eubanks - guitar
  • Stanley Jordan - guitar
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79.00 PLN

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Nr kat.: MAC1092
Label  : MackAvenue (USA)

Kevin Eubanks and Stanley Jordan’s Duets album on Mack Avenue Records is a study in patient, exemplary interactive jazz — as organically grown and as in the moment as possible. Fans expect nothing less of these modern-day jazz prophets, who do more on their guitars than half the population of axe-wielding studs. The album of originals and originally drawn covers comes out on March 24, and has the musicians give-and-take on electric/acoustic guitar, piano/keyboards, vibes, and bass. Throughout the fanciful, meditative Duets, Eubanks and Jordan take a gossamer thread of a note, and embroider a minecraft of wonderment in a metaphysical-performance, where energy, matter, and spirit fuse into one. Their forte with composing on the spot and their zeal for riffing with others — the farther removed, the better — inexorably link them, even if their musical approaches diverge slightly. Eubanks, former music director for Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show, takes his time to stroke out acoustic notes that seemingly drift in and out of his subconscious — mostly in the manner of a Kundalini session, preferably on a mountaintop surrounded by clouds. Jordan, on the other hand, is known for reworking the electric particles in the ether with his torch-touch technique, freezing, thawing, and flaming out from one end of the superfly spectrum to the other. Both have talked of a duet album for several years, but could never link up their busy schedules. Philly native Eubanks went on a tour to promote his last solo album, The Messenger (2013), before hooking up with Dave Holland’s new Prism band for a record and tour. Chicago/Bay Area native Jordan… what is he not doing? The musician and humanitarian’s always out there moving mountains for a cause, when he’s not shuffling himself amongst various artists. The two developed quite a respect for one another since the early 1980s, Eubanks explained, in a DL Media release sent on January 14. “Since then we’d see each other mostly on festival stages.” Jordan realized the important, core similarities; namely, they sought after the different, and welcomed all muses for that action. “I knew him as one of the best musicians in the early days before any of us were well known beyond the inner music circles...a guitarist with an unconventional finger style technique. I could relate to that. We were going for something different and I never viewed him as a competitor. The music was big enough for both of us.” Yet, it was during a fateful, and inaugural, Jazz on the Mountain at Whistler festival on Labor Day Weekend in 2011 that Eubanks and Jordan really took action in the pursuit of that duet. Jordan watched an interview of the Artist in Residence, noting further similarities in their naturalistic beliefs and how that would really translate well in music. “It’s about the challenges of being an eclectic musician in a world where everything is so tightly formatted. He had a lot to say. Afterwards, we talked for a really long time — hours. That’s when the seed for us doing something together was planted,” Jordan described in the press release. Eubanks concurred, “Stanley and I are in alignment on a number of things. We share an open-mindedness that’s about inclusiveness instead of exclusiveness — that, ultimately, sharing is better than not.” That festival, as it turned out, would not continue. But Eubanks and Jordan did, first by playing on each other’s sets, then together (the crowd loved that) in a short tour, and then landing on this 10-track album. They discovered an easy flow together onstage, especially during an acoustic soundcheck in a Texas church on April 2013. The church was made entirely out of wood. The sound the musicians made convinced them that they were on the right track. “We started playing, looked at each other, and felt how easy and nice everything flowed. That exchange created a lot of energy,” Eubanks continued. “The show flipped to us starting the show together, playing a couple songs alone, then us back together to close. Musicians sometimes get so myopic in their own world and need to get their minds past the foot of the stage. This was a case where the audience had a broader picture of what was possible than we did.” When they played together, it was as if time stood still, allowing them to freely roam, which resulted in four new “skull arrangements” for the standards, “Nature Boy,” “Summertime,” “Blue In Green,” and “A Child Is Born.” They also covered two pop songs, Adele’s ballad, “Someone Like You” and Ellie Goulding’s electronic dance, “Lights.” “Skull arrangements” referred to Eubanks and Jordan’s tendency to want to create in the spur of the moment, as the mood hit them. Lengthy, philosophical rap sessions on life between the two and their nine-city tour went into the spirit of the covers. When it came time to record (in Eubanks’ home studio), neither artist arrived to the mics geared up to the gills. They both kind of winged it, as is their nature. Doesn’t matter if it’s a thoughtful but tricky cover or an original with hints of blues or elongated classical tangents, these two play well together without trickery. It’s just Kevin Eubanks and Stanley Jordan laying their hearts out on the line through the instruments they’ve chosen to speak for themselves, as naked as can be. Separately, they’re capable of conjuring entire orchestras in one individualistic play. But as a two-man collective, they’ve somehow distilled notes and bars, the tenor of tones and textural fallout into the most intensive, far-reaching sessions. Evocative and pure (“Vibes”), swampy and full (“Old School Jam”), still life crackling slowly awake (“Blue In Green”), their Duets leave a lot to the listener’s imagination. But then again, these aren’t musicians who are overly fond of telling their audience what to think. They feel first, and let whatever happens, happen. By: Carol Banks Weber AXS Contributor


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