Big news announced last night: Rickey Minor, band leader of "American Idol,"  is joining "The Tonight Show," replacing Kevin Eubanks who announced he was splittling after Jay got the old job again.

  Minor: Believe me, you know him and know him well. He's one of the most accomplished band leaders in the world, as evidenced by his absolutely vital role on "Idol." But "Idol" is just the latest for him; I believe he was long associated with Whitney Houston, or at least I think  that was his most famous association.

  He has his own band - I guess you'd describe the sound as quiet storm, or sort of '90s rhythm and blues; here are a couple of clips from a recent interview (he published a book last year, a memoir) and a clip of Jarreau with Rickey Minor's band.. But Rickey has worked with ALL the big names.

  Huge get for Leno.Huge loss for "Idol."

  What happens to Eubanks band? I don't know...Like Kevin - also a fine musician - Minor's a guitar man.


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