Wednesday, April 14, 2010
OF COURSE: When Jay Leno started his show, Branford Marsalis, a charismatic, well-respected jazz musician, was his bandleader. When Branford Marsalis retired, he was replaced by Kevin Eubanks, a bland personality whose musical repute I don't know. Now that Eubanks is escaping his gilded cage, American Idol's Rickey Minor is taking over the Leno band and the straight-man chit-chat stool. I think this is just about the most perfect pairing Hollywood has ever made. Rickey Minor has never met a musical piece that he didn't want to neuter and dress up with tinkly keyboards. Rickey Minor makes jazz music for people who hate sex -- in other words, Jay Leno's audience. He will inoffensively play Jay on and out, and he will laugh easily, not without a hint of confusion, at Jay's non-joke declamations. For a show whose chief goal is not to challenge anybody, there can be no better choice, short of Kenny G., than Rickey Minor. Meanwhile, over at Fox's crown jewel, this is an opportunity to put together a band comprised of musicians who listen in their off time to popular music of the last quarter-century.
Posted by Isaac Spaceman at 10:50 AM