Desert Island Jazz
Robin Eubanks (2001)

Visit Website

Robin Eubanks is the premier jazz trombonist of his generation.

Whether performing with his groups, EB3 or Mental Images, or with the critically acclaimed Dave Holland Quintet and Big Band –with whom he was an original member- Robin is an artist whose impact on audiences has proven powerful and lasting. Robin has recorded seven albums as a leader featuring his original music.

Robin was born to a very musical family: His brother, Kevin Eubanks, is the music director for The Tonight Show and another brother, Duane, plays trumpet in New York. Their mother has been a music educator for more than 30 years; and their Uncle Ray Bryant is a prominent jazz pianist in his own right.

Robin began studying music at the age of eight and continued through college, when he graduated cum laud from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. As a student, he studied not only trombone, but also the finer points of Theory, Harmony, Composition and Arranging. Following his graduation, the young trombonist moved to New York City where he began a career that has since yielded an amazing array of collaborations with such notable artists as Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Eddie Palmieri, Sun Ra, Barbra Streisand, The Rolling Stones and Talking Heads –just to name a few. He's won Grammys for his performances on Michael Brecker's Wide Angles and Dave Holland's What Goes Around.

For the last several years, Robin has divided his rigorous performing schedule with an appointment at The Oberlin College Conservatory where he serves as a tenured Professor of Jazz Trombone. In 2002, he won a compositional grant from Chamber Music America, followed by an ASCAP Composer's grant in 2003. Other musical groups now commission him as a composer, and as with his performing career, his compositional interests are staggeringly diverse. Musically fluent, but also stylistically multilingual, the eclectic composer speaks a variety of musical “languages”. How does he do it? The key appears to be a combination of having a complete command of his craft, but also an innate gift that can sound like a combination of math and magic.

To hear him explain it:

"My compositions can change fluidly from Swing to Funk to Latin to 11/8 or 7/4, without sounding forced or awkward. This allows me to draw upon all of my experiences. I have the freedom to create forms that unite diverse influences into new structures that are organic."

However it's done, in addition to his own recordings, his compositions can be heard on several Dave Holland Quintet and Big Band recordings. The Mingus Big Band has also recorded his arrangements. Colleges and universities throughout the United States are performing Robin's original works and have arranged his music for their ensembles.

Other notable commissions include: Cause and Effect, which had its world premier with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra in 2003; string and horn arrangements for Freddie Cole's recording, This Is Always; Cross Currents for the late great JJ Johnson's Grammy nominated recording, The Brass Orchestra; and an arrangement of Genesis for McCoy Tyner's Big Band.

And if that were not enough, in the intervening years Robin has become not only an eminent musician, composer and performer, but also a popular lecturer and clinician at leading educational institutions throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 J.J. Johnson The Eminent J.J. Johnson, Vol. 1 Turnpike (Blue Note)
# 2 Wayne Shorter Juju Deluge (Blue Note)
# 3 Thelonious Monk Live at the Five Spot: Discovery! Trinkle, Tinkle (Blue Note)
# 4 Mahavishnu Orchestra Birds of Fire Miles Beyond (Columbia)
# 5 Egberto Gismonti Duaz Vozes (with Nana Vasconcelos) Aquarello do Brazil (ECM)
# 6 Miles Davis Highlights from the Plugged Nickel Yesterdays (Columbia)
Book The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin
Luxury Item Macintosh computer with Satellite Internet connection
Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
Alt 1 Igor Stravinsky N/A The Rite of Spring N/A
Alt 2 Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back N/A (Def Jam)
Alt 3 Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti N/A (Swan Song)
Alt 4 Me'shell Ndegé Ocello Plantation Lullabies N/A (Maverick)
Castaways by date
Melissa Aldana
11 Mar
Ron E. Beck
29 Apr
Pascal Bokar
07 Oct
Shanna Carlson
18 Mar
Sara Caswell
25 Mar
Carlos D'l Puerto
22 Jul
Kellye Gray
15 Jul
David Hart
04 Nov
Ellen Johnson
17 Jun
Steffen Kuehn
02 Dec
Paul McCandless
08 Jul
Allison Miller
15 Apr
Melissa Morgan
29 Jul
Linda Oh
05 Aug
Dafnis Prieto
24 Jun
Jim Pugh
30 Sep
Fred Randolph
05 Feb
Harvie S
03 Jun
Jake Shapiro
10 Jun
Marcus Shelby
15 Jan
Bria Skonberg
04 Mar
Mark Soskin
20 May
Leslie Stoval
19 Aug
John Stowell
08 Apr
Toots Thielemans
02 Sep
Roseanna Vitro
26 Feb
Paul VornHagen
14 Oct
Don Was
12 Aug
Danielle Wertz
27 May
Howard Wiley
28 Oct