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December 1997

Robin Eubanks
Wake Up Call
Sirocco Jazz

The fifth album by the Eubanks family eldest brother (guitarist Kevin leads the band on the Tonight Show, bassist David enlivened Dexter Gordon's last Quartet, and trumpeter Duane debuts here) is cause for celebration. The 42-year-old Philadelphia native is one of our finest post-bop trombonists and these eight tracks reveal why. Eubanks' warm sound, technical facility, inventive improvisations and thoughtful, energetic compositions are featured in a sextet setting.

Lee Morgan's "Ceora," Wayne Shorter's "United," and Charlie Parker's "Scrapple From The Apple" offer Eubanks' winning take on the jazz repertoire, with the soloists breathing new life into these always welcome touchstones. Eubanks, pianist Eric Lewis and bassist Lonnie Plaxico also serve up a refreshingly lyrical version of the standard "You Are Too Beautiful."

"Wake Up Call" marks the debut of the Sirocco Jazz label, based in England. Although the jazz CD marketplace is saturated, there's always room for recordings of merit. If "Wake Up Call" is any indication of what's coming on Sirocco Jazz, the label has a bright future.

Originally published in December 1997
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