From left to right: Kevin Eubanks, Bill Pierce and Marvin Smitty Smith perform at the Detroit Jazz Festival. i

From left to right: Kevin Eubanks, Bill Pierce and Marvin Smitty Smith perform at the Detroit Jazz Festival. Len Katz Photography hide caption

toggle caption Len Katz Photography
From left to right: Kevin Eubanks, Bill Pierce and Marvin Smitty Smith perform at the Detroit Jazz Festival.

From left to right: Kevin Eubanks, Bill Pierce and Marvin Smitty Smith perform at the Detroit Jazz Festival.

Len Katz Photography

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Kevin Eubanks On JazzSetWBGO

Kevin Eubanks On JazzSet

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/147288356/210133614" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Kevin Eubanks (briefly) and saxophonist Bill Pierce (in the mid 1980s) both played in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the two-generation-spanning band that is so very important in jazz from 1950s through the '80s. Now Pierce chairs the Woodwinds Department at Berklee College.

Eubanks and Marvin Smith were in The Tonight Show band together for 15 years, with guitar riffs and rim shots for Jay Leno Monday through Friday. "Smitty" brought Los Angeles bassist Rene Camacho into this group.

Their set hits a sweet spot between John Coltrane's "Resolution" and Eubanks' flowing originals, and the audience listens, Detroit style. That means they engage, encourage, respond to the details, love some swing. Eubanks' blues feels personal and made up on the spot.

Kevin Eubanks grew up to the sound of piano lessons on weekends. His mother Vera Eubanks taught at home, and also in the public schools for 35 years. One of her private students was Kenny Barron. Closing our show, from the same Detroit stage, Kenny Barron and the late Mulgrew Miller hold forth on two pianos playing with "Four" by Miles Davis — Eubanks to the left, Mulgrew to the right.

Set List
  • "Resolution" (Coltrane)
  • "Dirty Monk" (Eubanks)
  • "Blues" (Eubanks)
  • "The Messenger"
Personnel
  • Kevin Eubanks, guitar
  • Bill Pierce, saxophone
  • Rene Camacho, bass
  • Marvin Smith, drums
Credits

Kevin Eubanks interview by WBGO's Gary Walker. Thanks to Terri Pontremoli, Chris Harrington and the 2011 DJF team. Dee Dee Bridgewater records at KUNV in Las Vegas, studio engineer Ginger Bruner. Location recording by Timothy Powell, Surround Sound mix by JazzSet's Duke Markos.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Monty Alexander. Crush Boone/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Crush Boone/Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Monty Alexander On Piano Jazz

The Jamaican-born pianist, known for his rhythmic approach, joined Marian McPartland in 1991.

Monty Alexander In The Studio

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/482469803/482492744" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Brandee Younger and Edmar Castañeda. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artists

Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

Return Of The Jazz Harp

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Brandee Younger and Edmar Castañeda are bringing the ancient instrument back to the music.

Return Of The Jazz Harp

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/482494560/482495987" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Alan Clare. Allan Warren/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

toggle caption Allan Warren/Wikimedia Commons

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Alan Clare On Piano Jazz

In 1990, the British pianist joined host Marian McPartland from the BBC's London studios.

Alan Clare On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/480295874/480633264" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Dena DeRose. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Dena DeRose On Piano Jazz

In a 2001 session, the singer and pianist joined host Marian McPartland for a program of standards.

Dena DeRose On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/479740933/479741803" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Michael Ochs Archives/Stringer/Getty Images

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

A Tribute To Artie Shaw On Piano Jazz

Historian and cornetist Dick Sudhalter lends perspective on the great clarinetist and bandleader.

A Tribute To Artie Shaw On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/478858076/478859776" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Tania Maria. Jean-Baptiste Poulain/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Jean-Baptiste Poulain/Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Tania Maria On Piano Jazz

The Brazilian pianist and singer mixes frenetic originals with Antônio Carlos Jobim interpretations.

Tania Maria On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/477960098/477961996" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Catherine Russell. Marv Goldschmitt/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Marv Goldschmitt/Courtesy of the artist

Jazz Night In America

Catherine Russell: Sunny Side Of The Street

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The singer assembles a vocal trio to take on a book of music she once sang with her mother.

Catherine Russell: Sunny Side Of The Street

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/477822438/477824662" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jim Ferguson. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Jim Ferguson On Piano Jazz

The singing bassist presents original songs and standards in a session from 2001.

Jim Ferguson On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/477064541/477065827" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top