Kevin Eubanks & Stanley Jordan – Duets

Kevin_Stanley_DuetsBoth guitarists play acoustic and electric guitar on their new album plus bass, piano, and keys. And they wrote four of the songs together, like the opening track “Morning Sun” which actually hints vaguely at “Here Comes The Sun” in some harmony parts. A nice opener. Kevin continues with a solo on Gershwin’s “Summertime” playing guitar and bass in a bluesy and dark arrangement.

Stanley Jordan has come a long way from his smooth 1988 LP “Flying Home” on EMI-Manhattan and the 1990 Blue Note album “Cornucopia” where he was accompanied by top players like Kenny Kirkland, Charnett Moffett, or Jeff Watts. He plays with lots of finesse and understanding for the lyric of the Eden Ahbez classic “Nature Boy” here. There is a nod to the current pop charts with a cover of Adele‘s “Someone Like You” with Kevin playing piano. I’ve never really bought into the Adele hype though and find her songwriting a bit trite.

Both must have had a lot of fun with the joyous and lively “Old School Jam” where they exchange vivid ideas on their electric guitars. But they convince at both ends of the spectrum: the beautiful ballad “Vibes” has some sensitive steel guitar and nylon string guitar playing from Kevin and he also plays some keyboard vibes underscoring the mellow mood here. Stanley changes to piano on the Miles Davis standard “Blue In Green” which they interpret as sort of a vague introduction to the song, only hinting at the melody, circling around the core of the song.

Ellie Goulding‘s chart-topping “Lights” gets a sympathetic, soulful treatment here and they both get down with the blues on the original closer “Goin’ On Home”.

Kevin has a couple of dates with his band in Glendora, California in April and Omaha in May and Stanley is on tour in Europe playing solo concerts:

4/09 Vienna, Vienna Music Room

4/11  Linz, Brucknerhaus

4/16 Madrid, Clamores

4/18 Barcelona, Jamboree

4/21 Orense, Café Latino Jazz

4/24 Amsterdam, Northsea Jazz Club

6/04 Zurich, Moods

6/06 Lisboa, Coliseu de Lisboa

6/09 Milan, Blue Note

He is also guesting on Charnett Moffett’s Nettwork Trio with Cyrus Chestnut on piano and his old pal Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums playing in Bern, Switzerland from April 28th to May 1st. They will also play the European Jazz festival circuit in July.

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