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Zen Food

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iTunes Review

Guitarist Kevin Eubanks has played with numerous artists over the years, including Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, and Dave Holland, and he’s recorded several albums as a leader since he released his 1982 debut, Guitarist. But most people know him from his lengthy stint as guitarist and musical director on The Tonight Show with host Jay Leno. Eubanks left that post in 2010 and put out Zen Food later that year. Eubanks and his band — drummer Marvin “Smitty” Smith, saxophonist Bill Pierce, keyboardist Gerry Etkins, and bassist Rene Camacho — make for a tight unit. Eubanks wrote all of the material with the exception of Etkins’ mellow “G.G.” Some cuts lean toward fusion, but unlike the flashy playing that often plagues that genre, a sense of restraint and nuance consistently reigns here. “6/8” has nice guitar comping and some excellent tenor playing from Pierce, while “Offering” finds Etkins taking an exciting piano solo that recalls McCoy Tyner. One of the album’s standouts, “Los Angeles,” features a striking passage that evokes ‘70s prog rock, as well as another one of Eubanks’ excellent solos.

Customer Reviews

Unbelievable, Kevin is back!!!

I have several Kevin Eubanks CD's and they are all killing like Zen Food. Kevin was never a smooth jazz artist and thank God for that. He has always been aggressive and creative while taking his music to the edge. I was upset when he took the Leno gig because I knew that ridiculously awesome guitar playing would be missed. He's back, just after listening to the first track the CD will have a new home on my iPod.

A Total Surprise

I have to admit-I am totally surprised by this album. I'm not surprised that Kevin Eubanks is an excellent guitarist,I am surprised at the direction that he took.
Being my cynical self I would have thought Kevin would have made a smooth jazz(nothing against smooth jazz) album,seeing how he was on the Tonight Show and thinking about where to go after he left that gig. He totally steps it up and makes an album with a musical statement for the future. He is a force to be reckoned with. I look forward to hearing him play this music live

Fresh, Classy and Solid

Considering Kevin has been leading a late night TV show band for almost two decades it's a testimony to his talent that he can produce such an outstanding new album straight out of the gates. No schmaltz, smooth jazz or commercial filler here. Every cut is unique, harmonic, challenging and refreshing. If this is anything like what his future output will be like a number of leading jazz guitarists will now have some healthy competition. Go Kevin!


Born: November 15, 1957 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An adept guitarist with a bent toward contemporary jazz, Kevin Eubanks is best known for leading Jay Leno's Tonight Show Band. Born in 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Eubanks grew up in a musical family along with his older brother, trombonist Robin, and younger brother, trumpeter Duane -- his uncle is pianist Ray Bryant. A talented musician by his teens, Eubanks eventually studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston. After graduating, he played with a bevy of name musicians including...
Full Bio