first album with a string section is a triumph of good taste, both in the guitarist's gently swinging work and in GRP chief Dave Grusin's
unobtrusive, intelligent, unsentimental string charts. Grusin's
gorgeously recorded strings seem to seep into the texture, filling the spaces with just enough mortar. The backings alternate between an electric group -- with Marcus Miller
on bass and Grusin
applying the Yamaha DX7 electric piano sound -- and often just Ron Carter
on acoustic bass (plus the strings, of course). The treatment of Antonio Carlos Jobim's
"Wave" is a beaut, with a lot of rapid acoustic guitar figurework in mid-track. Even unreconstructed beboppers will enjoy the fluid duo-only exchange between Carter's
4/4 bass and Eubanks'
electric guitar on Wes Montgomery's
"The Trick Bag" and Bird's
"Relaxin' at Camarillo," the latter of which Eubanks
immodestly calls attention to in his liner notes. But he's entitled; it is impressive.