The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - COR­MAC LARKIN

The Mes­sen­ger Mack Av­enue

Gui­tarist Kevin Eubanks had se­ri­ous mu­si­cal cred be­fore com­mit­ting jazz hari-kari as leader of The Tonight Show house band. As part of bassist Dave Hol­land’s trail­blaz­ing quar­tet in the 1980s, Eubanks ap­peared on one of the al­bums of the decade ( Ex­ten­sions) and his mer­cu­rial, acous­tic-elec­tric gui­tar sound proved in­flu­en­tial on gui­tarists in the 1990s. Then came the long years of laugh­ing at Jay Leno’s jokes. Now he’s quit the show, formed a new band (in­clud­ing an­other Hol­land alum­nus, drum­mer Marvin “Smitty” Smith) and be­gun search­ing for his own sound again. The Mes­sen­ger is a con­fi­dent step on that jour­ney, im­pec­ca­bly played by a mus­cu­lar band, with a dar­ingly funky ver­sion of John Coltrane’s Res­o­lu­tion in among the gui­tarist’s own com­po­si­tions.

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