Album cover

Kyle Eastwood – The View From Here (Jazz Village)

Far from inevitable, the consequences of growing up under the roof of a screen icon whose fascination with the jazz world is legendary wouldn’t necessarily rub-off. Kyle, eldest son of actor and director Clint (obviously), wasn’t just exposed to his father’s passion but baptized in it. Attending the reverent Monterey Jazz Festival since its inception in 1958, the grizzled polymath would take the whole brood along, introducing a young Kyle to the greats. Though fame can be a cruel imposition, it also grants the kind of access us mere mortals could only ever dream about, namely allowing the Eastwood’s a private audience with Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.

A gilded start no doubt for a career in jazz, but no guarantee of success. As it turns out, Kyle grew up to be a virtuoso on both the electric and double bass, and a dab hand at composing, garnering a fair share of critical acclaim on the scene with his soundtrack informed compositions and contributions to Pa Eastwood’s more recent run of movies (Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino).

His latest suite of filmic rich originals casts its gaze towards France, with Kyle and his British backing-band heading across the Channel to record at the famous La Buissonne Studios. Certain Gallo tones reverberate but it’s the sound of a 60s to early 70s period set New York and San Francisco that springs to mind: The sophisticated street-pounding detective scores of Lalo Schifrin are given some smoothly added pep and swing.

Smokey horns, resonating deft piano and probing bass lines skip over a varied backdrop of exotically alluded song titles; from Cuba to Europe.

Taking the troupe westwards across Africa, both the Egyptian sweltering desert ode ‘Luxor’, and the Afro-beat ‘Une Nuit Au Sénégal’, offers a tropical counterbalance to the concrete city landscapes.

Refined, yet equally intimate, Kyle Eastwood’s style of narrative descripted jazz is blissfully aware of the past. Not exactly progressive or edgy, The View From Here saunters along at a placable rate, with plenty of adroit performances, though Kyle keeps hos own bass playing solos to a minimum.

Released march 11th 2013

[Rating:3.5]

Video footage of the album’s opening track From Rio To Havana:

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