The Manchester Craftsmen's Guild Jazz Concert Hall played host to a considerable amount of virtuosity and verve on Saturday courtesy of guitarist Kevin Eubanks and his trio. Mr. Eubanks, who brought along saxophonist Bill Pierce and bassist Rene Camacho, used a volume pedal hooked up to his hollow-body electric guitar that allowed him to move back and forth between acoustic and bluesy sounds. Mr. Pierce was equally fluid and evocative on soprano and tenor saxophones, and Mr. Camacho, whom Mr. Eubanks nicknamed "Boom-Boom," laid down the groove all evening long. But this performance won't be chosen as one of my best shows of the year. Reason? I generally didn't know what songs they were playing.
The title of only one tune was announced from the stage -- a quirky little number called "Spider Monkeys" that started out in 11/8 meter and included a lot of squeaks and squeals. The only other tune I recognized was Miles Davis' "All Blues." The band opened up with an unknown tune by John Coltrane.
The audience gave the ensemble a standing ovation at the end, and it wasn't undeserved. But as a reviewer I would have liked to know more about the material the trio performed. After all, part of my job is to relay to you what happened, as well as how I felt about it.