I keep hearing that the future of the music biz is video. Robin Eubanks is doing his part to prove that idea correct. His new release is a CD/DVD double disc by his band EB3, called Live, Vol. 1. The DVD is primarily performance footage of the live concert that produced the music on the CD. I love the fact that it is selling at Amazon for $16.98. That is both the CD and DVD in one package for $16.98. Right on Robin… or whoever made that decision. The DVD is provided to add to the music lover’s experience, not as an excuse to jack up the price. That’s good for one’s karma.
EB3 is an interesting band. It is a trio made up of Robin, Orrin Evans, and Kenwood Dennard. Each member of the group covers the bass role at some point. Watching Kenwood Dennard play keyboard bass and drums at the same time is a trip. That is part of the reason I think I prefer to listen to the CD, rather than watch the DVD. When I watch, I get too caught up in trying to figure out the magic trick, or who is doing what. I can deal with the music on a more pure level in audio only mode, but I must admit having the DVD there is a huge plus. I imagine that I will be in the minority in my preference for the CD over the DVD.
The music is electric. It is all electric keyboards, with lots of electric trombone and a good bit of live loop building. It is at times very funky, and pretty trippy in a few places too. Heavily electronic stuff can come off as gimmicky to me sometimes, but this disc avoids that trap. I get a vibe of very honest expression in this music. It seems to me that Robin has found a voice and setting in this band that are truly his and that he is comfortable with.
Full disclosure: This release was sent to me by a PR firm, but I was planning on buying it before the free one showed up in the mail.