Author Archives: Fusicology

OUT NOW: Singer/Songwriter ERIC ROBERSON Releases ‘EARTH’ | First of a Trilogy




Earth is part of an EP trilogy series titled, Earth, Wind and Fire.  Wind will be released July 21st and Fire is to be released on October 20th.  The idea to release three albums in one year began during the creative process in the recording studio.   “I was writing songs that didn’t feel like they belonged together. One song would be about empowerment and another about love,” says Roberson.  The trilogy EP was then birthed.

The inspiration behind the album titles definitely pays homage to the iconic group, but Eric also wanted to use music to voice some of today’s topical issues and in his special way, include his personal influences onto these albums.  “Earthis self-empowering, Wind is the love and Fire is the message,” says Roberson.

Earth features several collaborations, including spoken word from pastor YPJ, for the song, “First Loved Jesus.”  There is also “Superman,” a duet with singer/songwriter Glenn Lewis.  The producers on Earth are Daniel Crawford and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s production team, The Playlist (James Poyser, Stro Elliot, Kaidi Tathum).

Because of Earth’s empowerment theme, the first single on the album is “Million Dollars.” This song sets the pace for the entire album.  The song mentions having a million dollars would be nice, but would never be what makes him happy. “This song is very personal and says more about me than any other song I have written.”  Every song on Earth speaks to a particular part of life and the choices we have to make while going through our day-to-day ups and downs,” states Roberson.










Reebok Promotes Hip-Hop Education on Record Store Day

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Reebok x Record Store Day

This Saturday, thousands of music fans and aficionados will flock to vinyl shops to celebrate Record Store Day.

While there will be plenty of exclusive releases shrink-wrapped inside to satiate the most rabid audiophile, it’s just as important on this day to remember where music came from. Vinyl represents the roots of today’s music, especially in a genre built on two turntables and a microphone.

Reebok — which has been laced up by the likes of Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Fabolous, Rick Ross, Ice Cube, Cam’ron, Curre$y, Future, Kendrick and many more — has been in the room for as many scratches as any other brand in history. The Reebok Classic Leather, born in ’83, has been connected with hip-hop since the day it dropped.

To help fans understand the real classics of hip-hop, Reebok Classic is partnering with some of the biggest record stores around the country to encourage hip-hop music education. In Atlanta, Reebok is partnering with Criminal Records to host a giveaway of classic hip-hop records every hour on the hour. In Dallas, select classic hip-hop records will be free of cost, courtesy of Reebok. Additional details below.


Who: Reebok and Criminal Records
What: Record Store Day Hip-Hop Giveaway
When: Saturday, April 22, 2017 – 10AM EST
Where: Criminal Records, 1154 Euclid Avenue NE, Atlanta GA 30307


Who: Reebok and Josey Record
What: Free Classic Hip-Hop Records
When: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Where: 2821 Lyndon B Johnson Fwy #100, Farmers Branch, TX 75234

Exclusive Mix: KAZUKUTA Vol.97 by Djeff Afrozila


Djeff, son to a Cape-Verdean father and an Angolan mother, was born and raised in Alverca – Portugal. Thanks to his father’s long-time interest for music, Tiago has been listening to music since his early years. He grew up hearing artists and groups such as Michael Jackson, Europe, Michael Bolton, and Brian Adams… and always his African music which he never forgot such as Kassav, Tabanka Jazz, Livity, Grace Evora, Eduardo Paim and others.

LISTEN TO the Exclusive Mix: KAZUKUTA Vol.97 by Djeff Afrozila





National Weed Day #420 Programming on Fuse & FM


Fuse, FM and get blazed on Thursday, April 20 at 4:20 p.m. ET for Fuse 420 Drive-in: Reefer Madness - a celebration of pot life and the passage of California’s prop 64, with a hilarious shredding of the original propaganda film that helped make marijuana famous (and eventually illegal).


Join comedians Nick Guerra (Last Comic Standing), Justine Marino (Dirty, Sexy Funny), Orlando Leyba (Uproarious)and Dan Klein (The Pete Holmes Show) as they kick back and light up this gem of 420 history with some funny commentary on weed pop culture.


This morning, FM celebrates the high holidaze with an all day video block: The Bong Show Smoke Along beginning at 10 a.m. ET.  Enjoy feature videos from green-friendly artists like Travis $cott, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, and more. Fuse goes green at 4 p.mwith a Fuse Gets Lit themed music block.


This celebration of cannabis culture will be laced into a hydroponic spark across Fuse, FM, and the Fuse TV app.


The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA): Celebration of Prince in Cinema

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The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), in association with some of the nation’s leading libraries will commemorate the cinematic legacy of Prince with a series of special screenings and panel discussions that showcase his career in film. During his lifetime, the iconic entertainer, who died on April 21, 2016, starred in four films: UNDER THE CHERRY MOON, SIGN OF THE TIMES, GRAFITTI BRIDGE and the highly-lauded PURPLE RAIN.


AAFCA’s “Celebration of Prince in Cinema” will take place over two weekends, beginning on April 21st at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City and the Blair-Caldwell Library in Denver, and concluding with two screenings, at the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta and the African American Research Library and Cultural Center in Ft. Lauderdale. “Prince was one of the few black musicians who enjoyed success in cinema,” said AAFCA President, Gil Robertson. “His aptitude as a visual artist was stunning and continues to be influential today. It is both a privilege and an honor to share his cinematic works with our community partners around the country.

New App: SongCast Distribution Platform Changing Access to Music


An exciting app called SongCast offers great benefits for both listeners and musicians with its curated music selections from the most trending international artists. It’s a unique distribution platform that gives artists access to the very best streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Music. It solves the challenges many artists face in distributing their work –by giving them a platform to reach mobile and streaming listeners.

The free app features zero ads, and an eclectic selection of music from the company’s own expert DJs and the listeners. Musicians on SongCast can get their music out in front of a large audience, and the listeners can find the hottest new acts before they go mainstream.

Exciting highlights from the SongCast app:

  • Features music from more than 17,000 international artists
  • Musicians can earn significant royalties for their work and build a loyal following
  • Acts also can use syndicated radio services such as Shoutcast and TuneIn

Go to to learn more, or get the app for Android or Apple devices.

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West Coast Weekender: Festival prices go up Monday 4/17


West Coast Weekender, a weekend of dance and culture in southern California, returns for its second go May 4-7 to imprint itself on the coastal city of San Diego featuring Mark Farina, LTJ Bukem, Oliver Dollar, Purple Disco Machine, Marques Wyatt, Walker & Royce, Matrix & Futurebound, Enei, Manik, Sunshine Jones, Manoo, Mr. V, Rich Medina, Oscar P, Julius tMt, Lars Behrenroth, Jask, Cris Herrera, Eric Medina, Garva.

Last Call for Discount at Four Points 

-  $154 a night rate almost SOLD OUT 

Ticket prices are set to increase on Monday 4/14

* 5 spaces remaining for Abelton Workshop


In 2016 West Coast Weekender established itself as more than just a set of day-to-night parties. As a full-fledged conference, attendees and artists came together at San Diego’s Four Points Sheraton Downtown for provocative discussions on beat making and community-specific topics before heading to the day’s festivities. From panels about social activism to limited-seating workshops on Ableton Live, there are educational opportunities for everyone.


Friday 5.5 

Give A Beat! Change The System! Panel -3pm
Skyline Ballroom at Four Points by Sheraton

Lauren Segal (Give A Beat) moderates a discussion on how the nation’s criminal justice system is broken. 

Panelist: Rich Medina, Morgan Humphrey (Drug Policy Alliance), Jeremy Stock (California Innocence Project), Rescue Poetix, Stacy Kidd, Julius tMt, Doc Link

Saturday 5.6  

SOFit Presents SOfluid Yoga Instruction -11am 
Worldbeat Center, Balboa Park

Lillian So helps you CONNECT to yourself. Move seamlessly. Release tension. Become flexible, clear headed, and aligned. Feel fluid.

Deep sexy, ambient, r&b, soulful, baby-making-music 
spun by Diaztek   *Please Bring A Yoga Mat

Workshop: Ableton Live 101 -10am
Four Points by Sheraton - Pinnacle Room 

Co-founder of The NXWAV, Chris Annibell presents a 2 hour introductory workshop designed to uncover the secrets of Ableton Live’s intuitive and spontaneous workflow. Join a diverse community of artists and create amazing things. Ableton LIVE is a hugely popular production and performance program. Excellent for musicians, producers and DJs. 

20 Students per class 
50% Discount available for Weekender ticket holders – email for more info

Panel: The Art Of The Remix – The Last 30 Years -12pm

Four Points by Sheraton - Skyline Ballroom 

DJ Times Magazine 
editor Jim Tremayne will discuss the art and science of remixing, It’s origins, and evolution.

Panelist: Marques Wyatt, Manoo, Mr. V, Jask, Lonely Boy, Matthew Brian, David Montoya, Davidson Ospina & Asya Shein (Fusicology)

Sunday 5.7 

Panel: Inside The Recording Studio
Four Points by Sheraton - Skyline Ballroom 

DJ ALA  “The Professor” talks with your favorite producers and artists about life in the studio, recording equipment preferences, and how they make money today. 

Panelist: Manik, Lars Behrenroth, Julius tMt, Rich Medina, Alien Tom, Rescue Poetix







Out Now: Kevin Eubanks “East West Time Line”


Since his 18-year tenure as guitarist and music director of TV’s The Tonight Show Band ended in 2010, Philadelphia-born guitarist, composer Kevin Eubanks has been on a creative roll. On East West Time Line, Eubanks explores the chemistry he maintains with musicians on both coasts. And once again, his distinctive fingerstyle approach to the instrument is in the service of tunes that run the stylist gamut from urgent swingers to introspective ballads to Latin-tinged numbers and some get-down Philly funk.


Joining Eubanks on this stellar outing are longtime collaborator and former Berklee College of Music schoolmate, drummer Marvin “Smitty” Smith, who fuels the West Coast outfit alongside seasoned session bassist Rene Camacho, percussionist Mino Cinelu and saxophonist Bill Pierce. Smith’s East Coast counterpart on this bi-coastal session is the irrepressibly swinging Jeff “Tain” Watts, a force of nature on the kit who combines with bassist Dave Holland, Philadelphia-based pianist Orrin Evans and New York trumpeter Nicholas Payton for a potent lineup. Together these great musicians bring out the best in Eubanks’ six-string prowess and ignite his searching instincts throughout the sessions in Los Angeles and New York.


“Of course, we all came up through New York,” says the Philly guitarist who broke in with Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers during the early ‘80s. “But we also got the benefits of seeing the East Coast down and dirty and Hollywood down and dirty too. We combined both vibes on this recording—the kind of Latin vibe of Los Angeles and the straight-up swinging vibe of New York.


“Kevin is one of the titans of jazz guitar.” - Christian McBride, NPR “All Things Considered



“…East West Time Line isn’t some diversion from normalcy. This is who Kevin Eubanks has always been as a musician.” – Something Else! Reviews


“Kevin Eubanks not only succeeds in creating a concept album full of outstanding music but ultimately delivers one of the finest performances of his storied career.” – ZEALnyc


“Eubanks has today struck the right balance between R&B with abstract jazz on his new album, East West Time Line” –


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The album kicks off with “Time Line,” an urgent swinger paced by Holland’s signature walking groove and Watts’ inimitable polyrhythmic burn. Eubanks digs in with fingers on strings in his trademark percussive attack, alternately doubling the baselines and dealing in Wes-style octaves on his solo. Payton also turns in a trumpet solo that bristles with energy and “Tain” is turned loose on the kit at the tag. “There’s something a little Philly about that groove. I mean, it’s a long way from when I was playing in the neighborhood bands, but basically that’s a little Philly vibe in there.


Shifting gears, the East Coast crew next settles into the gentle “Watercolors,” which has Payton delivering a beautifully lyrical solo on this melodic track. “This was the first time that I ever played with Nick before,” says Eubanks. “I met him once or twice in passing on the road but we’ve been communicating on Twitter recently and at some point Nick said, ‘Man, one day we gotta hit.’ That’s really how this connection came about. In the studio I told him, ‘If you hear it, man, play it! Just feel free.’”


The introspective “Poet” introduces Orrin Evans on the Fender Rhodes engaging in a sparse and tender duet with Eubanks on the opening four minutes of the tune before the full band enters. The guitarist shifts from warm-toned electric to nylon string acoustic after that distinct break, while Evans moves from Rhodes to acoustic piano in the second half of the tune.


Kevin Eubanks portrait by anna webber 2016 for Mack Avenue Records


“Carnival” has Eubanks digging in more forcefully on his nylon string acoustic guitar. Holland also delivers a resounding bass solo here while Watts kicks up a fury on the kit and Evans pushes the harmonic envelope on his searching piano solo. “It’s such a pleasure to play with Tain,” says Eubanks. “He just keeps the thing rolling along and keeps the energy at a level where everybody can float on it but at the same time it’s not intrusive on what you want to do.”


The more open-ended “Something About Nothing,” which closes out Side A, has the East Coast ensemble exploring collectively with Evans on Rhodes, Eubanks on electric guitar and Payton turning in another exhilarating trumpet solo. “I think the title really describes the song,” says the guitarist. “We’re dealing with nothing but we’re dealing with something. There’s the bass line, and the chords are circular so you’re free to go wherever you want.”


The West Coast crew opens with a mambo-flavored arrangement of Duke Ellington’s “Take The Coltrane.” Eubanks digs in with his typically percussive attack on top of the clave-fueled groove. Eubanks next extrapolates on a motif from Chick Corea’s “Captain Señor Mouse,” which has him doubling on steel string guitar and bass, accompanied only by Mino Cinelu on percussion and Marvin “Smitty” Smith on drums.


The ensemble’s take on Kevin’s uncle, Ray Bryant’s “Cubano Chant,” has the guitarist alternating between acoustic and electric while Bill Pierce supplies a soaring soprano sax solo. The guitarist explains his directive to the musicians on this popular Afro-Cuban flavored number. “I just said, ‘Let’s just get compassionate on this…let’s breathe on this and let it float so it’s not all stick it and quit it.’ The influence of Latin jazz is undeniable when you’re on the West Coast long enough, and I wanted to reflect that in this session.”


Following the familiar soprano sax intro on Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” the band leaps into a swinging rendition of that ‘60s anthem that has Camacho walking persuasively and Eubanks alternately comping pianistically and soloing with Wes-styled octaves. Smitty’s interactive, swinging pulse fuels this uptempo treatment while Pierce explores the melodic theme before taking off on another flowing soprano sax solo. “The idea was to keep it brief, just kind of making a statement of, ‘What IS going on?,’ given the current social-political climate. And our version just had an uplifting brightness to it.”


The collection closes with a gorgeous reading of the standard “My One and Only Love,” which features a magnificent solo guitar intro by Eubanks. Pierce’s full-bodied tenor sax voice is decidedly old school here while Camacho maintains a sparse, Zen-like approach on bass throughout this relaxed rendition. “I’m definitely thinking about Wes Montgomery when I’m playing this,” says Eubanks, “and it feels so relaxing and beautiful to try and delve into that vibe.”


Overall, Eubanks seems exceedingly pleased with the copacetic nature of his first bi-coastal recording. “I think because I’m so familiar with all the musicians and we played together over the years in different settings, on different tours, that it helped the music quite a bit. There’s something that goes with friendship, knowing everybody’s journey to a large extent, that really enhances the communication between the players on a session. It’s that thing where everybody’s pulling for each other to do well and trying to make each other sound better, and you keep your sorry-ass ego out of it. We all have egos, we’re human beings and everything, but through the love of the music and wanting the best, good things happen. It’s really such a wonderful kind of democracy that you don’t see in other things. I think jazz music is the most perfect example of democracy in action.”

About Kevin Eubanks

Philadelphia native Kevin Eubanks grew up surrounded by music. His mother, Vera, was both a gospel and classical pianist, and his brothers Robin and Duane play trombone and trumpet respectively. Eubanks started as an elementary student playing violin, trumpet and piano and eventually found himself studying at Berklee College of Music. After graduating, he moved to New York City and started performing with legends such Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, and Sam Rivers, carving out a spot as the go-to guitarist in the New York jazz scene. In 1992 he moved to Los Angeles to join The Tonight Show Band and in ‘95 he replaced Branford Marsalis as the leader and served in that role for 15 years. Eubanks left the showin 2010 and has since released three albums with Mack Avenue Records: Zen Food, The Messenger and Duets (with Stanley Jordan).

Catch Kevin in NYC April 11-15 @ Birdland – TICKETS

MACK AVENUE · the road to great music ·







Kevin Eubanks portrait by Anna Webber 2016 for Mack Avenue Records