Gone are the days when bassist/composer Kyle Eastwood may have relied on a name recognition boost via his famous actor father and staunch jazz advocate, Clint Eastwood. Simply stated, the technically proficient bassist has emerged as a significant composer within the broad realm of jazz while dividing his time between Paris and Los Angeles. In effect, Kyle achieves the often unattainable aspects of bridging his craft with a great deal of flexibility and resilience, where numerous band-driven progressive jazz frameworks seamlessly align with memorable compositions, comprised of lyrically rich themes. It may be in the DNA, but the artist projects a cinematic flair during several pieces that could conceivably work rather well from a film scoring perspective.
“Songs from the Chateau” was recorded in the living room of the Chateau Couronneau. And the soundstage casts an analogue vibe that propagates warmth. The band opens with “Marlac,” centered on a medium-tempo vibe within a steady groove, tinged with a sleek, blues inflected horns chorus that intimates a regal underpinning. Here and throughout, the soloists engage in spiraling exchanges amid their democratic mode of operations.
With drifting themes and enticing hooks, the musicians incorporate ethereal overtones with dreamlike forays in concert with grace, power and harmonious storylines. No doubt, Kyle is a cunning arranger as he envelops these compositions with briskly executed ostinatos, snappy Latin pulses, and energized instances, often shaded with a euphoric edge.
The band closes out the session with the affable, airy jazz-funk piece “Down at Ronnie’s.” Moreover, Kyle stretches out on electric bass by reengineering the primary motif into a fluent solo spot. Hence, the program translates into music with a purpose. Artistically inclined, and teeming with lucid imagery, the superfine band interplay coalesces into an accessible album that should touch a nerve or two. It’s a product that should stimulate the appetites of a wide-ranging jazz audience, and is a prime selection for 2011. –
Track Listing: Marciac; Moon Over Couronneau; Café Calypso; Soul Captain; Andalucia; Over The Line; Tonic; Aperitif; Down At Ronnie’s.
Personnel: Kyle Eastwood: acoustic bass, electric bass; Andrew McCormack: piano, electric piano; Graeme Flowers: trumpet, flugelhorn; Graeme Blevins: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Martyn Kaine: drums