Bassist Kyle Eastwood frequently integrates a cinematic contour into his body of work. And true to form, he’s contributed music to eight of his famous father, actor, and director Clint Eastwood’s films. The bassist’s output can be characterized by tuneful hooks, calmly soaring opuses, and countered by odd-metered time signatures, clement flows, and passionate soloing spots. Indeed, his meticulous composing skills create intriguing propositions.
With handclaps and a prominent bass ostinato on the Flamenco-tinged “Sirocco,” the band fuses an expansive rock pulse with subtle North African cadences and trumpeter Quentin Collins’ flirtatious lines, and is one of several works integrating a world-music vibe. The musicians’ tender an international flavor, comprised of festive world-beat thematic forays, disseminated within a transparent modern jazz framework.
Eastwood’s arrangements are interspersed with his fluidly pumping lines and the quintet’s harmonious modalities, spiced with the hornists’ fervent soloing jaunts. He varies the pace on the promiscuous “The Promise,” imparting a moody and introspective motif, featuring profound and articulately expressed phrasings from Collins and saxophonist Graeme Blevins. Here, vivid imagery is sparked by the self-analytical storyline, reinforced by the leader’s nimble execution and subdued counterpoint of the primary melody. The divergent aspects of the album continue via the piano trio workout “Summer Gone,” framed on a reflective theme, the frontline’s gliding notes, and beefed up by Eastwood’s Jaco Pastorius influenced electric bass support.
Putting his sophisticated technical skills aside, the artist’s multi-purposed methodology transcends the perimeters of what might be considered old-hat or blasé within many jazz-centered stylizations. He’s not just another kid out of music school trying to impress by groping through difficult time signatures and inharmonious themes. On the contrary, Eastwood is an artiste. His mode of jazz expressionism tenders a multitude of gripping substructures, as he acutely transmutes these qualities into a highly entertaining form-factor.
Track Listing: From Rio To Havana; For M.E.; The View From Here; Sirocco; Luxor; Une Nuit Au Senegal; The Way Home; The Promise; Mistral; Summer Gone; Route De La Buissonne.
Personnel: Kyle Eastwood: double bass, electric bass; Graeme Blevins: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Graeme Flowers: trumpet, flugelhorn; Andrew McCormack: piano, electric piano; Martyn Kaine: drums. – allaboutjazz.com