Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Stunningly good work from Robin Eubanks
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 05/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As much as I love his brilliant work on the more world-jazzy disc, Mental Images, Wake Up Call represents, I believe, Robin Eubanks's finest work on record to date.Why's this one better?It works out of a more typical jazz context, thus reducing the exotic factor and simultaneously raising the straight-ahead jazz bar. That Eubanks meets this challenge and surpasses the brilliance of Mental images is quite something.The key, much as I'm reluctant to say it, giving my tepid reaction to most of his solo discs and his role in various Wynton Marsalis bands, is pianist Eric Reed. Here he lays down and establishes the exact right groove for this ambitious music. Whether it's the prickly, energetic vibe of the neglected Wayne Shorter opener, "United," or the sultry swing of Lee Morgan's gorgeous samba, "Ceora," Reed nails the vibe, setting the mood for what is surely Eubanks's strongest soloing on disc. Moreover, he rips off an absolute astounding solo on "Rush Hour." I'm afraid I've sorely underregarded this astounding musician. Or, maybe (as often happens), he's just had difficulty finding his ideal playing context. Whatever. He surely delivers here.The rest of the band's all over it. I'd have to disagree with the view that there is something wrong with the bassist. Lonnie Plaxico, one of the more versatile and widely recorded jazz bassists, here turns in what I believe is one of his best performances on disc. I do agree that Duane Eubanks has perfectly caught the vibe, and that Antonio Hart, another somewhat neglected player, mightily contributes. Indeed, the ensemble playing is some of the best I've ever heard. And once again, Gene Jackson perfectly defines the percussion palette. High points include a gorgeous, wistful rendering of Shorter's great vehicle, "Oriental Folk Song"; the extroverted Eubanks original and title cut, "Wake Up Call"; an achingly beautiful reading of the Rogers and Hart tune, "You Are Too Beautiful," a Eubanks/Reed/Plaxico trio, with the leader displaying a previously unheard burnished and romantic side; and "Rush Hour," a tricky post-bop number featuring some great band interaction, esp. between the brothers Eubanks (Robin and Duane).This, for me, is what makes jazz worth it: fabulous playing, deep grooves, uncanny interaction, and a the deft swagger that comes only from musical companions of the highest accomplishment interacting at the loftiest levels.Sweet."
byrdkc | Kansas City, MO USA | 03/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Trombonist sometimes have problems in being objective when speaking of their hereos. I believe it fair to say that this is a great effort. This album does not show the depth of skill that Robin is capable of! However, the ensemble's sonic creations at times are glorious. So, I would recommend starting with a different album (if this is to be your introduction).I have been a fan and student of Robin's music since his duet collaboration with fellow bone player Steve Turre. (Robin, please do a follow up recording!) The weak link here is in the bass playing. The flow is disruptive, never gels quite right. Maybe Dave Holland was unavailable for the gig? The youngest of the Eubanks clan (Duane) performance is laudable. This was his recording debut. The pick of tunes is strong. Check out the swing and chops on Scrapple From The Apple. My favorite tune on this outing definitely is Oriental Folk Song! Antonio Hart is brilliant in his communicative endeavours though out this session. Any album that highlights work from Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter deserves attention!! Please do not ignore this work. It is worthy of the cost and most importantly your time!"