Home / The Friday Morning Listen: Robin Eubanks & EB3- Live, Vol. 1

The Friday Morning Listen: Robin Eubanks & EB3- Live, Vol. 1

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This is how it goes. After rising somewhere near 7 A.M. we feed the dog, then make a pot of coffee. This is followed by a quiet morning catching up on the mountain of periodicals that have amassed during the first part of this year: The New Yorker, The Writer, Poets & Writers, Tricycle, The Sun. Somewhere in there some food happens, as well as a second pot of coffee.

As you can see, the closest direct contact with technology is the kitchen stove (I suppose a French Press can be considered coffee "technology," but that's pushing it). Hmmmm… OK, this isn't quite true. I do turn on my powered speakers and feed them with some music from the iPod. It hardly seems like technology to me since it just works. See, that's the key. It made my life better and in no way complicated it.

Until yesterday, that is. I had been wanting to rip this Robin Eubanks CD since I'd listened plenty of times at home but never on the iPod. Well, well, well, this is where my lack of Internet connection has finally caused me a little trouble. Ripping was no problem, except for having to key in all of the artist/song title data. It was the iPod update that tripped me up. I normally use WinAmp because the media library feature works pretty well and doesn't try any of those annoying sync tricks that made me fling iTunes out the window. With no Internet feed available, WinAmp displayed a dialog that I misread as saying "this doesn't work without an Internet connection." What it really said was that a feature called "Dashboard" wasn't available.

What was that they said in grade school? About reading all of the instructions?


So after some mild cussing, I attempted to get both RealPlayer and Windows Media Player to copy the new files over. RealPlayer said it was copying. Heck, it even displayed a progress bar. Where the files actually ended up I do not know, except that "iPod" was not part of the answer. Media Player did actually copy the files, but to the "Contacts" folder. Great. That must have been one of those customer-requested features that Balmer is always yapping about.

After some more advanced cussing, I realized that I'd misread that WinAmp dialog. All was well. The iPod update was complete.

The funny thing about all of this is that Robin Eubanks' EB3 ensemble isn't exactly the most organic thing you've ever heard. Sure, there's a real trombone as well as a drumkit (Kenwood Dennard). Add to that some loops, percussion pads, keyboards (Orrin Evans), electric trombone, and keyboard bass. Like other jazz players who seek creative augmentation of their acoustic sounds (trumpeter Cuong Vu comes to mind), Eubanks has some very strong ideas and does a great job keeping the technology from spoiling things.

…which I managed to do yesterday. Sort of.

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About Mark Saleski

  • “Eubanks has some very strong ideas and does a great job keeping the technology from spoiling things.”

    You summed up in one sentence what took me an entire article to say.

    Did ya’ check out the companion DVD yet?

  • no on the DVD, but i plan to soon. i have that and Metheny’s The Way Up Live ready to go!

  • Your dedication to your craft is as impressive as it is annoying.

  • wise guy

  • I enjoyed reading the review and the various comments on here. The response to the DVD/CD package has been AMAZING thus far. I’ve read comments, in some reviews, that I’ve rarely heard said before.

    When you try something different, you never know how people will respond to it. I couldn’t be more pleased by the reception this recording is getting. I just wanted to document a concept that I’ve been able to crystalize with this band. I’m sure jazz purist will have negative things to say, but I think they will be countered by people who like funk and rock and other elements in their music… I’m just doing what I hear and what I want to do. Those that like it will, and those that don’t won’t.

    Right now, I’m trying to write more music for the group. Because of the instrumentation and the various abilities of the musicians, I have to give more thought to the direction and arrangement of the compositions. Who should play bass at a specific section. Should I use electronics here? If so , what kind of sound will work, etc…

    EB3 has a few gigs this month. June 11th at the Rochester Internatuonal Jazz Fest., in Rochester , NY. June 16th at the Cambridge River Festival, in Boston. June 29th at Joe’s Pub in NYC. We go to Brazil at the end on July after I do a 3 week tour of Europe with Dave Holland. I have some time off now but it gets crazy busy soon.

    Thanks again,


  • Well done, Mark! After reading your piece, I put my copy aside. I have nothing to add. But do check out the DVD–you’ll be glad you did.